Padangusthasana

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Padangusthasana or “head-to-big-toe-pose” is the second position in the Prana Vashya Sun Salutation (as pictured).  It follows urdhvasana whereby you inhale, look forward and bend back.

Standing, then, with your arms above your head extended towards the sky (having just completed the first posture of the Sun Salutation) and keeping your legs completely straight, exhale and bend forward from your hips, folding ribcage to thighs / forehead to shins.

Then grasp your big toes with the first two fingers and thumb to secure the position. Try to straighten your spine on every inhalation and try to hollow your belly and fold further forward on every exhalation.

If you cannot yet touch your toes with your fingers as you forward bend, then work up to this posture by trying to touch your toes; focusing on straightening your back with every inhalation.

If you have any lower back or neck injuries then avoid this posture. If you have been given a physiotherapy routine of exercises to perform to help you with your injuries, then always tell your yoga instructor and, if possible, show them your physiotherapy routine.  This way, your instructor will gain a clear idea about which muscle groups, etc need working on (and which ones are to be avoided).

Benefits

The primary benefits of padangusthasana are two-fold; it strengthens and stretches the hamstrings and dissolves body fat from the waistline.

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/

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Urdhvasana

imageUrdhvasana means ‘position held by the upward parts of my body’.  It is the first position in the Prana Vasyha ‘sun salutation’ (or ‘surya namaskar’ in Sanskrit) which is a continuous flow of postures designed to warm up all the key muscle groups in the body.

How to get into the position

Ensuring your feet are together or waist with apart (if apart, then the heels and big toes should be in one line pointing straight forward), plant both feet firmly on the ground.  Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet and hips.  As you inhale raise both of your arms together above your head to expand the chest and tilt your pelvis forward to curve the lower back, ensuring you keep your knees and arms straight.  As you lean back this way, keep looking forward.

If you have any neck or lower back issues then a good variation to Urdhvasana is to keep both your hands on your hips as you lean back.

It is very important to look forward when leaning back.  If you look back as you lean back, then you will collapse the neck so that the muscles stop working.  This causes the load / weight of the body to go into the available joint instead of working the relevant muscle (so you will end up straining your neck and lower back).  By looking forward when you bend back you work the anterior muscles of the torso and the linea alba, which is the proper intention of Urdhvasana;  the position held by the upward parts of my body.

Benefits

  • Strengthens the abdominal muscles, torso and shoulders
  • Can help with back ache
  • Helps with people who suffer from indigestion problems

Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga.  To book a class with Damian you can contact him by:

Email: damiancadmanjones@gmail.com

Tel: 0777 900 1896

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/queensroadyoga/