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Strike a Yoga Pose: Standing Hand to Big Toe D

We've made it to the last of the four Standing Hand to Big Toe poses in Ashtanga Yoga. This series is perfect if you're a runner or biker because not only does it increase flexibility in your hips and hamstrings, but it also strengthens your quads and core, and challenges your sense of balance.

Sanskrit name: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana D
English translation: Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose D
Also called: Standing Hand to Big Toe D

  • Stand with your big toes touching. Put all your weight into your left foot, and lift your right knee up. Bring your hands to your hips.
  • Now straighten out your leg in front of you, pointing your toe, and making sure to keep your torso in line with your left leg (don't lean back). Try to lengthen through your spine, balancing with both legs straight. This can feel really intense on your quad or lower back, so it's OK to bend your right knee slightly (like in the picture to the right). Just try to keep your thigh lifted.
  • Hold for five deep breaths, then release your right foot back to the ground. Try this pose on the other side.

Fit's Tips: Traditionally you do A, B, C, and D all in a row without letting your foot touch the ground, so give it a try.

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