In this era of automation, where man is stuck in the clock of twelve to twelve, to meet his day to routine, it has become an exigency to include at least a set of exercise in his daily groove in order to aid both his physical as well as mental health and to take up the whole day schedule smoothly.
“Yoga Heals the Soul"
When we talk about workouts, we cannot be oblivious towards the modern resurrection of a thousand-year-old practice i.e. YOGA. In the latest years, Yoga has become the most favored form of physical exercise because of its serenity, varied postures and traditional practices that eventually enhance the control of body and mind while relishing the goodness of nature at the same time. One of its poses known for its assorted benefits is Padahastasana.
What is Padahastasana?
Padahastasana stands one among the twelve poses of hatha yoga where Hatha stands for "force". Padahastasana also known as 'Hand under Foot Pose' or 'Standing Forward Bend' works as a miracle to nurture one's spiritual health. The term Padahastasana is traditionally derived from the Sanskrit Language where 'Pada' stands for 'Foot', 'Hasta' stands for 'Hands', 'Asana' depicts 'Posture' or ‘Seat’.
Padahastasana or Hand To Foot pose is considered to be one of the most intense inverted yoga postures widely praised for its muscle strengthening and toning benefits. Being the third pose of Surya Namaskar, this semi-inversional pose of yoga is surmised to reduce tamas, which means heaviness of inertia in the body. Moreover, Padahastasana is believed to enrich body balance and spiritual cleansing by unlockingthe energy zones of our body.
How to perform Padahastasana?
The following are the steps to perform this pose:
Step 1: Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) which means standing while keeping the spine erect.
Step 2: Keep the feet hip-width apart.
Step 3: Inhale, slowly raise the arms up.
Step 4: Exhale, start folding forward slowly. Make sure that the spine remains as concave as possible while bending forward with control.
Step 5: Slide both the hands under the feet with the palms up and toes touching the wrists.
Step 6: Exhale gently while moving the face towards the space between your knees.
Step 7: Maintain the pose for 3-5 breaths.
Step 8: Inhale, while looking forward.
Step 9: Release the hands one by one.
Step 10: Inhale, come back to the center position.
Step 11: Exhale, while bringing the hands down.
How Is Padahastasana Beneficial?
1. The Toning Effect: Padahastasana being an intense stretching pose helps in bracing and toning the body resulting in harmonized, nimble physique.
2. The Flex - Spell: The semi-inverted pose holds several virtues in making the body free from sprains. This posture protects the tough muscles of hamstrings, wrist and lower back from various muscular diseases by enchanting the spell of great flexibility in the body.
3. The Flawless Flow: Padahastasana ensures a better blood flow right from the head to heel due to its inverted effect where the head is placed below the heart-boosting the blood flow in the veins. The better flow of blood, in turn, gives a brilliant glow to the skin, hampers anxiety and fights various signs of aging.
4. Goodbye Fat: This pose is magnificent in reducing the excessive fat, protecting the body from various cardiovascular diseases. This pose is best for vanishing belly fat through regular practice.
5. A Healthy Gut: "A good digestion turneth all to healthy" The best solution to indigestion and abdominal bloating is Padahastasana. This pose galvanizes the well functioning of all the digestive organs including spleen and liver ensuring a smooth bowel movement and a healthy digestive system.
6. The Good Glands: "Harmones are the reason of your happiness." The glands present in our body secrete harmones which play a vital role in maintaining homeostasis. This Yoga asana dominantly vivify the functionality of thyroid, endocrine and pituitary gland to lock up the entire wellness.
7. Key to Chakras: Padahastasana is a natural remedy to unlatch the nerve centres i.e. the chakras also known as the energy zones present across the body, making them fluid that further contributes to physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual well-being.
8. Taming Tamas: "Tama attracts misery " If one's soul is infected by tamas, Padahastasana is the best drug. Tamasic mind is always wounded with laziness, depression, demotivation, heaviness, etc. , which often dulls the understanding and limits creativity.
Therefore this pose removes inertia and sets the practitioners free from these downward energies flowing in the spine. Regular practice of this pose makes the body light and energized.
9. The Well-Vata: The alignment of this asana unifies the Vata dosha in the body. Vata presides over all the movements in the body and mind viz. controlling the blood flow, elimination of waste, breathing and other motions. Therefore as per Ayurveda, Padahastasana harmonizes Vata gifting good mental and physical health.
Further, this pose removes
-Speeding up metabolism and concentration
Precautions while performing Padahastasana:
• Padahastasana must be practiced before or after a backward bending pose.
• While bending forward move your torso from the hip joints and not the waist.
• Legs and knees must be kept straight while practicing the pose.
• Do not overstretch. Overstretching might overstress the knees, thighs, calves, ankles, etc. resulting in a sprain.
• Beginners may find it difficult to directly swoop into thePadahastasana posture due to the tightness of hamstring and lower back. Therefore, one should practice few simple stretches to relieve the tension from the neck , back and hamstring before performing Padahastasana.
• People may take a few days to reach the hand under foot pose. It is advised to stretch as per one's comfort and flexibility.
Who should avoid Padahastasana?
People suffering from the following problems should not practice this asana :
• Back pain
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Abdominal hernia
• Knee Problem
Final words: Padahastasana is an amazing yoga pose that renders several health benefits. Right from the flexibility to the inner peace, Padahastasana showers its healing virtues on the practitioner. Include this healthy pose in your daily yoga routine to achieve the above-mentioned benefits.