From Tadasana, bring your left knee toward your belly.
Reach your left arm inside the thigh, cross it over the front ankle, and hold the outside of your left foot. If your hamstrings are tight, hold a strap looped around the left sole.
Firm the front thigh muscles of the standing leg, and press the outer thigh inward.
Inhale and extend the left leg forward. Straighten the knee as much as possible. If you’re steady, swing the leg out to the side. Breathe steadily; breathing takes concentration, but it helps you balance.
Hold for 30 seconds, then swing the leg back to center with an inhale, and lower the foot to the floor with an exhale. Repeat on the other side for the same length of time.
Utthita Hasta Padangustasana
Contraindications and Cautions
Ankle or low back injuries
You can hold this pose longer by supporting the raised-leg foot on the top edge of a chair back (padded with a blanket). Set the chair an inch or two from a wall and press your raised heel firmly to the wall.
- Strengthens the legs and ankles
- Stretches the backs of the legs
- Improves sense of balance