The Hand to Big Toe Pose is intermediate yoga posture that stretches your back legs while challenging your balance.
Hand to Big Toe Pose stretches and strengthens your legs, ankles, and hamstrings. This pose challenges and improves your balance which in turn will develop your concentration and focus.
Begin standing with your feet together and arms at your sides. Take a deep breath
Shift your weight to your left foot. Slowly pick your right knee up to your chest. Bring your right arm to the inside of your right thigh. Loop your index and middle fingers around your right foot’s big toe. Put your left hand on your hip.
Straighten your spine. Engage your abdominal and left leg muscles. Straighten your left leg but be sure not to lock your knee.
On the next exhale, extend your right leg forward. Straighten your right leg as much as you can.
Keep both hips forward and do not scrunch your neck and shoulders.
Drop your right hip slightly so it aligns with your left hip. Bring your focus to your midline.
Hold for 5-20 breaths. To release, draw your knee back into your chest, then slowly lower your foot to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
If you cannot reach your toes on your raised leg, practice the Standing Knee Hug (see video below)
If you cannot straighten your lifted leg while keeping your spine straight, try using a yoga strap around the ball of your foot. Hold this strap on the same side that you are stretching.
To support the lifted legs, rest your raised foot on the top edge of a chair or table. You can also press your foot against a wall.
For a deeper stretch, fold your body toward your lifted leg.
For a greater challenge, try holding up your extended leg without your using your hand.
Focus on the stretch, not on the lift! It doesn’t matter how high your leg goes if you don’t have correct alignment
Take it slow and don’t be afraid of falling! Simply get back on your feet and try again
Below is a video on how to do this pose:
Here is a video on the modification of this pose:
Practice makes perfect! Stick with this pose and you will see results!