Travaasa Austin Instructor, Susan Anderson, details the proper form of Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose in honor of National Yoga Month. 

Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana) is a standing pose that requires tremendous concentration, flexibility, and balance. From mountain pose, shift your weight into your right leg. Bend the knee, bringing the left foot off the ground and grabbing the big toe with two fingers before extending the foot out in front of you. Straighten the standing leg as much as possible while maintaining grip on your big toe. If you can, bring the leg out to the side and raise the foot as much as you can towards your head (as pictured above). In the beginning, the held foot and leg will be more directly to the side, as it takes time and practice to bring the knee to the ear.

Benefits:

  • Opens and strengthens the hips
  • Strengthens the legs and ankles
  • Increases flexibility in the legs
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves balance