How to practice: Pādānguṣṭhāsana (Foot Big Toe Pose)

by Delight Yoga

Six simple Fundamental Asanas build the foundation of an Astanga Vinyasa Yoga practice. They are often called 'standing positions' because they are composed of six relatively easy standing asanas. Pādānguṣṭhāsana, or 'foot big toe pose', is the first of these six foundational postures. 

The six fundamental postures are right at the beginning of every Astanga Yoga practice. No matter how advanced you are, after five rounds of Surya Namaskara A and B, you start with these postures. Here, you carry the rhythm you have set up in Surya Namaskara A & B in a flow from asana to asana. With this solid basis, you are perfectly prepared to enter whichever series you are practising. 

Pādānguṣṭhāsana Instructions
 

1. ekam
Inhale, feet hip width apart, bending forward, first three fingers wrap around big toes, looking forward and up, opening the chest and sternum, lengthening the spine
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

2. dve
Exhale, bending at elbows, neck is long, head to the knees
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

- 5 breaths, Pādānguṣṭhāsana.
  Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

3. trīṇi
Inhale, extend the arms, lift the head, lengthen the spine
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

- Exhale, Samasthitiḥ
  Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)
 

Pādānguṣṭhāsana Benefits

- Increases blood circulation to legs, torso, and brain

- Stimulates and tones the liver, kidneys, and spleen

- Stretches the entire backside of the body, especially the legs and lower back

- Elongates the spine and increases flexibility

- Improves digestion (increases digestive juices)

- Therapeutic for gastric troubles and bloating sensations in the abdomen