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How to Do the Extended Hand to Toe Pose

Hamstrung by your hamstrings? Unbalanced by your imbalance? This is a great pose to improve both.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Mountain Pose Stand at the front of your mat with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed between them, your spine erect, and your arms at your sides.
  • Step 2: Raise right knee While exhaling, bend your right knee, and bring it up toward your chest. Slip the middle and index fingers of your right hand around the big toe on your right foot. Place your left hand on your hip, and remain balanced this way for several breaths.
  • TIP: If you're having trouble balancing on one foot, do this exercise near a wall so you can steady yourself or help yourself come out of the pose gracefully.
  • Step 3: Extend right leg While inhaling, slowly extend your right leg, keeping your fingers entwined with your big toe. Straighten your standing leg. Lift your chest forward and up, and lift the top of your head straight up toward the ceiling. Do not lean back.
  • Step 4: Hold pose Hold the pose for several breaths.
  • Step 5: Lower leg Slowly bend your right knee and bring your right leg back close to your body.
  • Step 6: Lower foot Release your fingers from your toe and lower your foot to the ground, and relax.
  • Step 7: Repeat pose Repeat the pose with your left leg and hold it for the same number of breaths that you did on your right.
  • Step 8: Release pose Release the pose and lower your left foot to the ground. Definitely better than unstrung and unbalanced.
  • FACT: Married Hindu women traditionally wear bichiyas, or toe rings, on the second toes of both feet.

You Will Need

  • Comfortable clothing suitable for stretching and moving
  • A calm place where you won't be distracted or disturbed
  • A yoga mat or folded blanket

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