30 Nov Hastapadasana – The Hands to Feet Posture
In all humility, I yield unto the inner spirit and the cosmos which constantly guides me.
In ancient Indian scriptures, it is said that the entire universe lies within oneself. The mighty mountains, rivers, oceans and all things material are represented within the body. This is so because the external world and the body are made of the same five elements.
The uniqueness of this asana is to respect and value one’s inner being, yield to its intuitiveness. This asana is replete with humility and acceptance of the self along with surrender to the universe. It represents a cycle of energy generated within the body and offered to the cosmos.
On the physical plane, this asana ensures flexibility and stability.
Method of Practice
1. Stand with your feet together and hands at the side.
2. While inhaling, raise both your hands from the front above your head.
3. While exhaling, bring the your hands down to touch your toes or grasp your ankles keeping your knees straight. Also, remember to keep your head and hands together as a unit as you bend down or rise up for maximum benefit.
4. Suspending your breath, keeping your knees straight, try to touch your forehead to the knees. Stay in the position for 6 seconds with suspended breath or stay in the position breathing normally for not more than 2 minutes.
5. While inhaling, raise your hands up above your head.
6. As you exhale, bring your hands down to the sides in a sweeping motion.
Limitations / Contraindications
1. Hypertension, cardiac ailments
2. Pregnancy, peptic ulcers, hernia
3. Cervical spondylitis and slipped disc
4. Serious eye disorders
5. Spinal abnormalities
1. It results in extreme stretching of your posterior muscles.
2. It brings suppleness to your spine.
3. Intra-abdominal compression provides good circulation and massage to your abdomen and pelvic viscera.
4. It tones your abdominal wall and reduces unnecessary fat deposited in the abdominal area.
5. It induces clavicular breathing and aids proper ventilation of the uppermost part of the lungs.
1. It has a beneficial effect on your back, hips and hamstring muscles.
2. It helps to stimulate the urogenital, digestive, nervous and endocrine systems.
3. It aids in blood circulation to your head.
1. It improves your mind balance.
2. It brings in a sense of humility and gratitude.
1. Neck, shoulder joint and hip flexors
2. Wrist extensors
Hansaji J. Yogendra’s Variation for Hastapadasana
Method of Practice
1. Stand with your feet together, hands at your sides.
2. While inhaling, raise both your hands up above your head. Keep your arms close to the ears as though you are holding the head with your arms. Palms should be facing outwards.
3. As you begin to exhale, contract your abdomen, twist your torso to the right and go down trying to touch the floor on the right. Check that your knees remain straight.
4. Inhaling, keep your head between your arms and rise up fully (remaining on the right) and then return to the centre.
5. While exhaling, repeat on the left side.
6. Exhaling, bring your hands down.