An Easy Guide to Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, or Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, or Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose, is a great yoga pose for beginners as not only does it improve leg strength, but it also helps yogis develop their sense of balance. By focusing on the body and on remaining stable, yogis reunite body and mind, which helps them feel at peace.

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana will build strength in the legs and ankles, stretch the groins, spine, waist and shoulders, and stimulate the abdominal organs. This yoga pose is also good for relieving stress and anxiety as the mind needs to be calm in order to balance.

Watch a clip for this yoga pose 

How to do Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, or Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose, in easy steps

Step 1:

Begin in Mountain pose (Tadasana).

Step 2:

Lift the left foot up and take hold of the big toe with the first two fingers and thumb of the left hand.

Step 3:

If you have to lean forward to get this grip wrap a strap around the foot and hold onto it with the left hand. Take care not to tense the shoulder or neck. Keep your back straight.

Step 4:

Place your right hand on your right hip.

Step 5:

Keep the torso long and upright as you slowly take the left knee to its full extension, flexing your ankle and pushing through the ball and toes. Take care not to hyper extend the knee.

Step 6:

Root through the balls of the feet and the big toe of the standing leg. Stay here for a few breaths.

Step 7:

Exhale and slowly extend the left leg out to the side.

Step 8:

Keep the gaze forward or if your balance is good, look to the left and breathe smoothly.

Step 9:

Stay here for 5 to 10 breaths. To come out, inhale and bring the left leg back to the front. Exhaling release the grip and lower the foot to the floor.

Step 10:

Repeat on the other side.


Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Yoga pose category:  Standing

Level: 2

Don’t worry if you’re having difficulty balancing on one foot – most yogis have trouble sustaining this pose without wobbling! Try leaning your extended hand against a wall to help provide a little extra stability whilst you get to grips with the leg lift. With daily practice and dedication, you’ll be able to master Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana freestanding.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Utthita -extended

Hasta - hand 

Pada - foot 

Angustha - big toe

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:


Balance issues



Lower back pain

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana if you have any of the following health conditions:

Ankle injury

Back injry


High blood pressure

Low blood presuure

Shoulder injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.