Utthita Parsva Hasta Padangusthasana

Side Extended Hand to Big-Toe Pose

This pose gives steadiness and poise.
When teaching, allot 2 minutes to demo this pose and 3 minutes for students to do the pose.

Little practice sequence and specific practice points to learn UPHP/ poses to teach us UPHP:
  1. Supta Padangusthasana I 
    • Firm the thighs enthusiastically by pressing the feet down and pull the thighs up to straighten both legs completely.  
    • Lengthen through the inner leg/inseam of the leg all the way to the big toe to firm the legs and make the hips compact.  
    • Keep the thighs firm, take the thighs back.
    • Lengthen the buttocks away from the waist and take the tailbone in and lengthen the lumbar spine. (always firm the thghts and take them back first, then take the tailbone in second)
    • Keeping the shoulders back, broaden from the sternum through the collarbones to broaden the chest.
  2. Supta Padangusthasana II
    • Keep the both legs completely straight by firming the thighs and lengthening the inner leg.
    • Keeping the L side of the trunk and the L buttock on the floor by turning the belly from the R to the L, exhale and bring the R sideways to the R with the foot at the level of the shoulder.  
    • Use the work in your legs to level the hips and roll the R buttock away from the waist and towards the L heel.
  3. Vrksasana
    • Press your L heel down to firm the L thigh up  and stabilize your standing leg.
    • Keep both hips level by rolling the R buttock away from the waist.  
    • Take the tailbone in as the L thigh comes back to compact the hips.  From this stability, lengthen up.
    • Lengthen the inner thigh from groin to knee.
  4. Ardha Chandrasana
    • Press down in the heel and the mound/ball of big toe of the R foot as you strongly take the thigh back.
    • Lengthen the R side waist toward the shoulder by moving the thigh back and move your buttocks away from the lumbar spine to take the tailbone in.  Do this as you take the R hip toward the L heel. to keep the lumbar long and spacious.
  5. Padangustasana
    • WIth both legs firm, grasp your big toes.  From the grasp of the big toe and the resistance of the big toe back into the grasp, lengthen the inner thighs and firm the legs.
    • Extend your trunk.
  6. Utthita Hasta Padangustansana
Instructions for getting into Utthita Parsva Hasta Padangusthasana
  1. From Tadasana, stand firmly into the heel of your L foot.  Lift the kneecap to keep the thigh up and back.
  2. Keeping the L leg firm, grasp your R big toe with your R first two fingers (the foot resists into the fingers as the fingers grasp the foot), and extend your R leg straight out to the R at a 90 degree angle.   
  3. Straighten both legs.  Lengthen both inner thighs to the mound of the big toe, and take the thighbone towards the hamstring. 
  4. Keeping your legs firm, square your hips by lengthening the R buttock down away from the waist while you keep the L thigh moving back.  Through the action of the legs, become compact and stable in the back of the hips.  Descend the flesh of the outer hip as you ascend the entire pelvic frame.
  5. Keeping the legs firm, and the hips square, lengthen throughout side-body by lifting the side body up away from the legs.  Work your legs and draw the pelvic floor in up so that low back is broad and breath can deepen.
  6. Keeping your torso erect, lift and broaden your breastbone and collarbones to lift your entire front body.  Suck the shoulder blades tightly into the ribs to lengthen and open the chest.  Keep the  top shoulder blades broad as you draw the lower tips of the shoulder blades in towards the spine to support and maintain the chest opening.
  7. Keeping both legs firm and straight, lift the side body from the hips to the thoracic spine.  Lengthen the torso. 
  8. Exhale and bend the R leg to bring the R leg down.
  9. Repeat on the other side. 
In a nut shell:
  1. Stand in Tadasana
  2. Pick your R leg up to the side.
  3. Firm and lengthen both legs all the way to the big toe mound
  4. Level your hips
  5. Lift and broaden your chest.
Practice UPHP in Standing Pose week.