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UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA
Extended hand thumb to foot pose
Balancing asanas develop the cerebellum, the brain center that controls how the body works in motion. These asana induce physical balance, stilling unconscious movement. As the moving body attains balance, it can rely on forces such as gravity to support and propel it, conserving its own energy and achieving grace and fluidity of movement.
An uncoordinated body has to constantly compensate for the lack of balance in order to avoid falling or knocking things over, this creates maximum effort for minimum results.
The focus required to balance poses with steadiness develops concentration and balance at the emotional, mental, and psychic levels. These asana are especially noted for balancing the nervous system and removing stress and anxiety, hold for as long as possible for maximum benefit!
At first balancing is difficult, however the body is very adaptable and progress comes quickly with regular practice. Using drishti helps tremendously with balance, drishti is at the toe if steady, or at the wall if wobbly.
- From Samasthiti, inhale place left hand on waist and with the right hand catch the right big toe. If possible straighten both knees and spine (if not possible to straighten right knee then hold toe with knee bent). If you are new to this posture stay here, if you can go further, exhale and touch your chin to your shin. Hold 5 breaths.
- Inhale stand up straight, exhale take your leg to the side keeping (if possible) the arm, leg, and spine straight. Turn gaze over left shoulder. Hold 5 breaths.
- Inhaling bring the leg to center, exhale touch the nose to the knee, inhale stand up straight, release leg with both hands on waist hold leg up as high as possible for 5 breaths (toes point).
- Exhale to Samasthiti.
Benefits: Loosens the hip joints, strengthens vertebral column, lower abdomen and supporting leg. It eliminates constipation and destroys defects of the male organ of generation.
This pose also stimulates the knots or blocks at the base of the Sushmna Nadi (inside the tiny bones of the coccyx) allowing prana to move upward. (The Sushmna Nadi is the spine.)