Revolved Hand-To-Foot

Revolved hand-to-foot pose (parivrtta hasta padangusthasana) combines a standing balance, a hamstrings/low back stretch, and a twist. The full pose with the leg extended takes quite a bit of flexibility, but if you keep the knee bent, you still get the balance and the twist.

Start standing in mountain pose. Ground into the right foot, preparing to lift the left foot off the ground. Contract the abdominals, low back, and pelvic floor, and as you inhale, lift the knee toward the chest. With the opposite hand, grasp the outer edge of the foot.

Grasp the outer edge of the foot

Grasp the outer edge of the foot

 

The thumb should be toward the heel. If you don’t have the flexibility to reach the foot, grasp the knee instead. Find your balance. Breathe.

Thumb toward the heel

The thumb should be toward the heel

Now, if you have the flexibility, begin to straighten the left leg. Keep breathing. Keep the foot flexed, pressing out through the heel. If you’ve rounded through the spine at all, try to straighten it out, lengthening upwards through the crown of the head. Use the upper back muscles to draw the shoulders back instead of letting them collapse forward. Remember, you can always keep the knee bent if that’s better for your body. Find your balance.

Now, under control, inhale and extend the left hand backwards at shoulder height. Slowly open the chest to the left, twisting through the spine. Breathe.

Revolved hand-to-foot with gaze forward

Extend the left leg forward and the right arm back.

Once you feel stable, you can slowly turn the gaze toward the back hand. It’s always easier to balance if you have a focal point, so as your gaze travels backward, keep choosing different points to fixate on. Contract the quads (muscles in the front of the thigh) and hamstrings to maintain balance. Keep breathing.

Revolved hand to foot

Revolved hand to foot

Hold this pose for at least three breaths, and then repeat it on the other side.

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