In Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, there are 4 sections to perform in this asana. They are performed steps by steps to help us hold one of our legs in elevation. However, many people have tight or inflexible hamstrings that hinder them in extending the leg. So, there are exercises that can help us can get into this asana better.
- Leg stretching
If you have tight hamstrings, it would be difficult to extend the leg as the hamstring will be lengthen intensively in this asana. Use the wall as a support, raise one leg to the wall to a level where the leg can extend without any pain in the hamstring. Press the elevated leg against the wall and hold on this position for 30 seconds. Repeat the same sequence on the same leg for another 5 times and each time try to bring the elevated leg higher.
- Supta Hasta Padangusthasana
This asana is quite similar to Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, except that we are laying down without the gravitational pull that will topple our balance. This will helps to lengthen our hamstrings and work on the hip flexion.
As core is important to hold keep our balance in this asana, plank is highly recommended. Intensity can be applied by doing raising one arm and one leg off the ground.
Now to get into the pose:
- Stand in Tadasana
- Take a point on eye level as your gazing point
- Inhale slightly bend your left leg and lifting up your right leg. As your right leg is lifting, wrap the right toe with you thumb, index and middle fingers.
- Slowly find your balance and stand up straight with your right leg extend to the front and keep the back straight. It is more important to keep your back straight then trying to straighten the leg fully. Hold here for 5 breaths.
- On next inhalation, bring the leg out to the right and look over to your left shoulder. Hold here for 5 breaths.
- Next, inhale as you bring your right leg back to the centre and holding the side of the foot with both hands. If you can, pull your leg higher or just stay at your comfortable position. Hold for 5 breaths.
- Lastly, inhale and let go of your hands and let the right leg stay elevated in the air. Squeezing in your abdominal muscles and your quads to stablize and keeping the right leg elevated.
If you are facing problems in this asana, you can always stand against the wall to practice your balancing. Or use a yoga strap to help you hold the elevated leg if you can reach your toe.