padahastasana or hands to feet pose

4 Tips to Improving your Padahastasana or Hands to Feet Pose

padahastasana or hands to feet pose

Padahastasana or Hands to Feet pose is one of my favorite postures!

It is the first time in class your shoulders get a break!

By the time I am coming up arms and head together from Hands to Feet pose, I feel like I have finally awakened for my day.  My muscles feel exponentially looser and I feel as if my spine has lengthened a foot!

Padahastasana helped me unlock the secret to yoga:  Use your own strength to stretch your body.  It’s really no secret my instructors said it and now I say it all the time, “Pulling is the object of stretching!”  This posture, however, was the first posture where I actually found this to be true.

I used to and still have very tight hamstrings.  Every class that I am able to lock my knees makes me so happy.

Here are 4 tips to lock you knees, Lock Your Knees, LOCK YOUR KNEES!:

  1. Make sure to glue your body to your legs and get your elbows as close as possible to each other behind the calf muscles.  After you can grab your heels, your next goal is to touch your face to your shins–not to lock your knees
  2. Use your Breath:  Like every yoga pose, you want to maintain normal breathing in this posture.  With your inhales, pull harder on your heels.  With your exhales, roll forward weight in your heels and lift your hips up to the ceiling.
  3. Use your Quadriceps muscles:  The quadriceps is the hamstrings’ antagonistic muscle.  Your hamstrings bend your knee and your quadriceps extend the knee.  If you want to “Lock your knee” (or extend it)   You have to use your quadriceps.  The more you work to constantly and consistently contract your quadriceps, the more your hamstrings will be forced to slowly open up and stretch.  ****Using on your strength won’t pull muscles.  Make sure to never bounce into a posture.  Then you are using strength and momentum.  This combo can pull muscles.
  4. Imagine your Head Moving Down your Shins:  Once you can lock your knees, the goal then becomes to lengthen your spine.  Imagine your head sliding down towards your toes.  To do this, you will need to continue pulling with your biceps.  Then try to depress and retract your shoulder blades so you can use your back strength to open up your upper spine.

Muscles Contracting:

  • Biceps
  • Quadriceps
  • latissimus dorsi
  • rhomboids

Stretches: 

  • Spine
  • hamstrings
  • hips
  • glutes
  • Erector Spinae
  • trapezius

Compresses:

  • Large intestine
  • Small intestine
  • Abdomen

Stimulates:

  • Digestive System
  • Heart
  • Nervous System
  • Brain

Bikram says Padahastasana or Hands to Feet Pose Benefits us by:

  • Improves digestion
  • Stretches out the the wrists.  Helping with Carpel tunnel and arthritis
  • Opens and Stretches the Hamstrings
  • Stretches the spine.
  • Improves Sciatica
  • Awakens you, sending blood to the brain.
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Tones the abdomen

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  1. Pingback: A Beginning Devoid of Oxygen: My First Bikram Yoga Class | Chronicles of a Beginner Yogi

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