Thursday 12 July 2012

Pada-Hastasana - Hands to Feet Pose (last part of Half Moon Pose) - For Beginners

Feel the greatest stretch in the coccyx area at the base of your spine. Increase the stretch by pushing your behind farther and farther to the rear while keeping your back and arms and legs as straight as possible.

As a beginner, let your knees bend as much as necessary to grasp your heels from behind, keeping your feet together of course. Your focus of attention is still on the coccyx. You relax downward from that point. That fact is important because the aim of this pose is to form a perfect standing jackknife. How does jackknife work? On a swivel joint. In your body, that swivel  joint is in the coccyx area, where you must eventually let go and relax.

There will be some of you who cannot reach your heels the first day, no matter how hard you try. Don’t be discouraged, you are not alone. After a few days that won’t be a problem.
As you lay your body against your legs, bend your knees even farther if you have to. If you can’ t get your body to touch your legs no matter how you slice it, then just do your best to touch your forehead to your knees.

Unfortunately, nothing will accomplish the ultimate straightening of your legs except day-in, day-out determination and much strength. Try concentrating on lifting the hips rather than on the straightening. At the beginning you will feel pain! But this kind of pain is normal, expected and good  - a step beyond discomfort. 

Yoga does not ask or recommend that you be a hero or a masochist. Yoga only asks that you go as far as you can that day - try as honestly as possible at that moment. And so, as a general rule, stretch right up to any pain, then back off just before its threshold, and hold the pose there. Each succeeding day you’ll have to chase the pain farther and farther to catch it.


The Hands to Feet Pose increases the flexibility of the spine and the sciatic nerves and most of the tendons and ligaments of the legs, and strengthens the biceps of thighs and calves. It also greatly improves blood circulation in the legs and to the brain, and strengthens the rectus abdominus,  gluteus maximus, oblique, deltoid and trapezius muscles. Trims your waistline, hips, abdomen, buttocks and thighs!

Read more about this poses benefits  -  Here

Drawings and info from "Bikram´s Beginning Yoga Class " Book, 1978. 


Anonymous said...


I've been doing bikram yoga for a few months now, and I'd like to clarify on the hand to feet pose. My knees are still bent currently, but I'm able to put my fingers under my heel. Allows are behind the calves, although they tend to move to the outside. My question is; I feel a burning feeling on my knees during that posture. I understand it should be felt at the back of the legs and back. What am I doing wrong and is there a way to take the pressure off the knees? Ithe same goes for awkward pose. My left knee is starting to hurt after class, so I want to be really careful with this. Would appreciate your comment on this. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos! Still getting used to typing on the iPad.