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Ekapad Hastasana (hand to leg pose)

 

   

 

Eka - One; Pad - Leg; Hasta - Hand

In this asana, the feet are stepped apart. The body is squared and folded towards one leg, with the hands resting on the ground next to the same foot in this asana. Hence, it is termed as Ekapad Hastasana.

 

Taking the asana position

 

1. Step the left leg out to the side, away from the right leg.
2. Turn the foot of the left leg to the left.
3. While inhaling, raise the arms overhead.
4. Square the hips to the left leg, and while exhaling bend forward.
5. Place both palms on the ground on the sides of the left foot, keeping the left leg straight.
6. Touch the forehead to the knee and continue normal breathing.

 

The asana position

 

In this position, the feet should be placed as far away from each other as possible. Ideally the forehead should be touching the knee, but the back should not be hunched over to achieve this. The hands should also ideally be placed on the ground on the respective sides of the left foot.

 

Releasing the asana position

 

1. Exhale and while inhaling lift up the forehead.
2. Slowly, straighten the back, bringing the arms up overhead.
3. Turn the hips and left foot back to face the front.
4. While exhaling, lower the arms back down to the sides of the body.
5. Step the left leg back beside the right leg and come back to the standing position.

Practice on the other side.

Anatomical focus

 

The stretch along the left calf muscles, left hamstring and the back of the upper body, as well as the compression of the organs in the abdominal area.

 

Awareness

 

On the stretch along the left calf muscles, left hamstring and the back of the upper body, as well as the massage between the left thigh and the abdomen while breathing normally.

 

Do's

 

1. Step the feet as far away from each other as possible.
2. Place the right foot at a 45 degree angle to the left foot. (The angle may vary as per the convenience of every individual.)
3. Square the hips to the left.
4. Align the feet such that the heel of the left foot is in line with the arch of the right foot.
5. Keep the legs straight.
6. Relax in the final pose and breathe normally.
7. Engage Jalandhar Bandha if the forehead is touching the knee. This increases the stretch in the back of the body.

 

Dont's

 

1. Hunch the back or bend the left leg in order to touch the forehead to the knee.
2. Bend the arms.

 

Benefits

 

1. Improves the flexibility and blood supply to all the joints and muscles of the leg, lower back and hip.
2. Stimulates circulation to the nerves and muscles of the spine.
3. Tones and massages the abdominal region, hence also increasing the blood supply.
4. Improved blood supply to the brain.

 

Therapeutic application

 

1. Menstrual disorders
2. Sluggish liver
3. Diabetes

 

Precautions & contra-indications

 

1. Surgery or joint injury in the legs, pelvis, lower back and waist.
2. Slipped disc or sciatica.
3. High blood pressure.
At least 1 minute on each side.

 

Variations & tips

 

It is important to experience the stretch in the left hamstring and lower back in this asana. If the hands cannot be placed on the ground, place the palms on the ankle or shin of the left leg.

Make sure that you turn the hips and shoulders to face the left leg before coming into the asana.

 

Preparatory poses

 

1. Vajrasana Yogamudra Type 1
2. Ekapad Uttanpadasana
3. Ardha Paschimottanasana
4. Ekapad hastasana (sitting)

 

Follow-up poses

 

1. Ugrasana

 

Ancient texts