Asana of the Week: Padangusthasana

Padangusthasana (Foot Big Toe Pose) is a nice forward bending posture which makes use of the connection made between the hands and feet to engage the arms and legs.  The physical connection here keeps the energy circulating within the body so that what appears, at first glance, to be a sleepy forward fold is all lit up with prana.

As the first posture in the Ashtanga standing series, Padangusthasana lengthens the hamstrings, releases the backbody, and encourages gentle extension of the cervical spine in preparation for more the core-intensive forward bending of the remainder of the series.

Alternate view
Prepare for Padangusthasana standing with the feet planted at hip's distance.  Bend down and take your big toes with the first two fingers and thumb in yogi toe lock, bending your knees as much as necessary to make this toe lock possible.  Keep the wrists lifted and the bandhas engaged.

With an inhalation pull your arms straight, lengthen your spine and look forward.  Exhale to fold, bending at the hips to keep the spine long.  Fire up the quadriceps to lift the kneecaps and encourage the hamstrings to release.  Lift your shoulders toward your waist to make space for the neck to extend.  Feel the crown of your head coming closer to the floor with every exhalation and bend your elbows straight out to the sides as you gaze softly down the tip of your nose.  Stay for 5-10 breaths.


  1. One of my favs! thank you for the detailed description :)

  2. It's my pleasure, Riquermy. Thanks for reading!

  3. Love this pose, I could stay in it forever!