How To Do The Padangusthasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Big Toe pose also known as Padangusthasana is an asana where Pada – Foot, Angusta – Big Toe, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – POD-ung-goos-THAWS-un-nuh.

This asana is one of the easiest yoga asanas. If you are a beginner, this will be one of the first few yoga asanas you will be introduced to. It helps you stretch all your muscles from head to toe.

Everything You Need To Know About Padangusthasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Padangusthasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tip
  5. Advanced Pose Variation
  6. The Benefits Of The Padangusthasana
  7. The Science Behind The Padangusthasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do This Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Basic
Style: Hatha Yoga
Duration: 30 seconds
Repetition: None
Stretches: Hamstrings, Calves
Strengthens: Thighs

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How To Do The Padangusthasana

  1. To begin this asana, you must stand up straight and place your feet parallel to each other. Your feet must be at least six inches apart, and your legs should be straight.
  1. Contract your thigh muscles so that your kneecaps will be lifted outwards.
  1. Now bend forward, aiming to touch your forehead to your knees. You must ensure that your head and torso move together.
  1. Hold your big toe with the fingers of the respective side. The grip must be firm.
  1. Inhale and lift the torso. Remember to straighten your elbows.
  1. Exhale and bend towards your toes again. Do this a few times. Then, straighten your body. Don’t forget to keep the breath constant and your torso straight as you go up and down. Keep holding your toes throughout.
  1. Come back to position.

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Precautions And Contraindications

This is a basic pose, and although anyone can do it, make sure you practice it under the guidance of a certified yoga instructor.

Also, you must avoid this pose if you have neck or lower back injuries.

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Beginner’s Tip

As a beginner, it might be difficult to hold your toes while keeping your knees straight. If you can’t keep your knees straight, use a yoga strap. Loop it around the middle of the arches to give you a handhold.

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Advanced Pose Variations

Image: Shutterstock

Once you have mastered the Padangusthasana, you can try the Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana. For this, you must stand upright, extend one leg to the side, and reach for your big toe with your hand. Repeat with the other leg as well. In this variation, your hips and thighs get a good stretch.

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The Benefits Of The Padangusthasana

These are some amazing benefits of practicing this asana.

  1. It calms the brain and relieves anxiety, stress, and mild depression.
  1. The liver and kidneys are activated.
  1. The calves and hamstrings get a good stretch.
  1. The thighs become strong.
  1. The digestive system and the reproductive system are stimulated.
  1. Digestion is improved.
  1. Menopause and menstrual disorders are reduced.
  1. Headaches and insomnia are relieved.

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The Science Behind The Padangusthasana

This basic yoga asana is said to stretch each and every muscle in the body from head to toe. This asana is the perfect balance between backward and forward bending, and uses the pull and push of gravity. This pull and push also helps to relieve pain and ease the tension trapped in the body. This asana is surely a significant one.

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Preparatory Poses

Supta Padangusthasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana

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Follow-Up Poses


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Now that you know how to do Padangusthasana, what are you waiting for? Reach for your toes, and unleash the stress and tension. This basic pose is definitely going to change your world for the better.

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer

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