Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose)

Iyengar's difficulty rating: 16* out of 60*

Note: due to a technical mixup, we didn't end up taking a picture of the final form of Iyengar's Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana! The pictures above are of a prep pose achieved by following steps 1-4 below. Steps 5 and beyond will guide you towards the final form.

Iyengar's Technique:

  1. Stand in Tadasana.
  2. Raise your R leg, bend your R knee, and hold your R big toe between your thumb and fore and middle fingers on the R hand.
  3. Rest your L hand on your L hip. Take two breaths.
  4. Stretch your R leg forward while resisting by pulling back with your arm.
  5. Then wrap both hands around your R heel and lift your leg higher.
  6. Keeping your leg lifting, bow forward and rest your head, then nose, then chin on your R shin.
  7. Take a few deep breaths, then return to Tadasana.

Comparing Forms:

  • Iyengar looks much more relaxed than I do! This pose is strenuous for me this early in a sequence. I often need more time and warmth for my leg muscles to release.