What is Padahastasana?

There are several forward bend poses in yoga that help in stretching and strengthening our back and core area, the two main parts necessary for not only maintaining our health but also for making the smallest of the movements.

One such very important pose is Padahastasana that has been practiced for thousands of years. Padahastasana meaning ‘hand to foot pose’ involves draping of the upper body over the legs and drawing our mind inward. It is an easy pose of yoga for beginners and is also a form of hatha yoga as a part of Surya Namaskar yoga. Padahastasana yoga steps are also done to regulate and remove the excess air or ‘vata’ from the body and cure its imbalances. 

Who can perform Padahastasana?

If performed carefully, Padahastasana is a gentle and easy yoga posture that can be performed by anyone who wants to enjoy sustained health of the body and mind. Padahastasana yoga steps are especially advised for:

  • People who want to improve their flexibility.
  • Those who suffer from frequent digestive issues.
  • Those who suffer from frequent back pains or stiffness.
  • People who want to lose weight.
  • Those who want to build on their thigh muscles.
  • People who feel that they need to improve their balance and coordination.
  • Those who suffer from problems with their nasal and throat areas.
  • People who want to improve their metabolism and immunity.
  • People who suffer from stress, anxiety, and lack of concentration.
  • People suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Padahastasana can be done by seniors easily.
  • Kids as young as 7 years can perform Padahastasana gently.

Who should avoid Padahastasana?

People suffering from these conditions are not advised the Padahastasana yoga pose and must perform only after consulting their doctor:

  • Pregnant women, especially those in their third trimester.
  • Anyone who is suffering from severe back pain must not practice Padahastasana before healing completely.
  • People who have been diagnosed with heart diseases, high blood pressure, and hypertension, etc.
  • People suffering from abdominal hernia or sciatica.
  • Those who have ulcers.
  • People suffering from fever, cold, or flu.
  • People who have suffered from injuries in their spine, thighs, legs, back, knees, etc. should not practice Padahastasana before healing.

How does Padahastasana help?

Padahastasana asana is a very effective asana that has amazing spiritual, mental, and physical benefits. This asana becomes even more important during times like now when many of us seeing low levels of activity and experiencing a more sedentary lifestyle.

Some of the most important Padahastasana benefits include:

  • Padahastasana helps in stimulating and improving the functioning of the organs in the digestive system. This helps in bettering the bowel movement and preventing the occurrence of digestive issues like bloat, gas, flatulence, etc.
  • Since Padahastasana steps require you to bend and stretch your upper body, it stretches your hamstrings, spine, and the muscles in the back and thighs effectively. This helps in not only strengthening these muscles but also improves your flexibility and range of motion, making you more active.
  • One of the most important Padahastasana benefits is that it helps in eliminating pain and inflammation in the joints and muscles. This is especially beneficial for seniors and those who are suffering from arthritis. 
  • Since Padahastasana steps involve lowering your head and stretching your body, it improves your blood circulation. This helps in improving your lung function, immunity, strengthening your muscles, and keeping your skin and hair healthy.
  • People who suffer from numbness, tingling sensation, or weakness in their arms or wrists (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) benefit tremendously by performing this asana.
  • Since Padahastasana requires bending your head, it improves blood circulation to your brain. When performed regularly, this helps in reducing your stress and improving your memory and concentration.
  • By stretching your muscles and joints, Padahastasana helps in energising you and reducing fatigue and exhaustion.
  • The hand to foot pose helps in improving the metabolism that lets you burn more calories not only while doing yoga but throughout the day. This makes Padahastasana a very effective pose of yoga for weight loss.
  • Since it allows blood to flow to your neck and head area, it is a great pose of yoga for treating issues like jaw pain and stiffness, ear pain, blocked sinuses, frequent colds, etc.
  • Since Padahastasana massages the abdominal organs, especially the spleen, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, uterus, and kidneys, it helps in not only eliminating disorders of these organs but also preventing toxicity and occurrence of other problems.
  • This asana helps in preventing thyroid.
  • It is a very beneficial asana for balancing the menstrual cycles of women and reducing the painful signs of menopause.
  • It is amongst the most effective yoga postures for kids since it helps in building their endurance and immunity and is easy to perform too.

How to do Padahastasana Step By Step?

  • Do a 5-minute warm-up session before beginning Padahastasana steps.
  • Stand straight on a comfortable yoga mat. Your hands should be on your sides and chest open.
  • Inhale slowly and raise your hands straight over the head. Make sure that your biceps are touching your ears and elbows are straight while you are doing so.
  • Remember to keep your body straight and firm but not stiff.
  • Turn both your palms forward, exhale, and gently start bending your body forward using your lower back. 
  • Make a 90-degree angle with your upper body and legs and touch your abdomen with the thighs and chest with your legs.
  • Keep your hands beside the feet and touch your forehead to the knees.
  • Ensure that you keep your legs as straight as possible and breathe deeply.
  • Hold this position for 15-30 seconds.
  • Gently lift your forehead followed by the hands and come back to the starting position.
  • Do Padahastasana 5-6 times, 2-3 times in a day.

What are some tips for practicing Padahastasana safely?

Though Padahastasana is a simple yoga posture, still it’s important to keep these things in mind before you start practicing it:

  • Never start performing this asana without learning it from an experienced trainer. This will help you in understanding not only Padahastasana meaning, but also customising it according to your specific needs, knowing Padahastasana steps and benefits, and performing it safely. 
  • Never force any of the stretches in Padahastasana. Overstretching your body while performing this asana may lead to excessive compression in your muscles and even herniation. This is especially applicable during the practice of Padahastasana for beginners.
  • Always do a warm-up before performing Padahastasana. This will help in improving your circulation, warming up the body, reducing stiffness, etc. This helps prevent the risk of injuries and fatigue.
  • Always choose a clean and well-ventilated space for performing this asana. Remove all the distractions like mobile phones, TV, etc. that may hinder your concentration.
  • Start practicing Padahastasana slowly and build up the repetitions gradually. Doing too much too soon may do more harm than good. You can start with 4-5 repetitions initially.
  • Be consistent with the practice of this asana to gain its benefits.
  • People who are suffering from hypertension, heart diseases, fever, high blood pressure, slipped disc, or sciatica must not perform this asana.
  • If you have suffered from a serious injury or are experiencing pain, let yourself heal properly before performing Padahastasana.
  • Pregnant women should not perform this asana.

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February 17, 2022

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