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  • Writer's pictureFrancesca Matteoda

Utthita hasta padangusthasana (Extended hand-to-big toe-pose)

Hi everyone and again, thank you for your patience!

This is another balancing pose that I recorded during my mini-holiday in a little village about 130 km north of Madrid this summer. I don't know about you, but I really feel the need for balancing poses at the moment, because I'm desperately trying to regain my inner balance that COVID is constantly trying to knock.

Balancing poses are a matter of practice and of inner peace. You need to practice them because you need to strengthen your feet, ankles and legs in order to do them properly, but no matter how much you practice, you may always have "bad days" when you're unable to do them as well as you thought, and that's because of your inner balance. The frame of mind you're in deeply affects how well you can keep your balance, so do not despair if sometimes, just as you think you've mastered a pose, you go back to square one!

I think that by this point, if you have been following me from the start, you know that you have to practice yoga barefoot, so please excuse the trainer in the video. I was on rocky, uneven land and could not possibly stand barefoot, which is why I only removed one shoe for the video.


Start by shifting your weight onto your left foot, spreading it out evenly. Find a spot to fix your gaze on, somewhere or something that will not move and distract you. Lift up your right knee so that you can grab your big toe with your right hand, and stretch out your right leg in front of you, keeping your back as straight as possible. You can stretch out your left arm to the side if this helps you balance better, or gently rest your hand on your left hip. Hold for 5 breaths, then come out of the posture gracefully and repeat on the other side.

IF YOU CAN'T REACH YOUR BIG TOE, you can use a yoga belt or scarf, passing it under the sole of your foot and use that to help you lift your leg.


Ankle, knee, hip or shoulder injuries; vertigo; very low blood pressure.

BENEFITS: Strengthens ankle and leg muscles, improves balance, lengthens the spine.

QUESTIONS OR SUGGESTIONS? Don't hesitate to get in touch, I'm always happy to hear from you!


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