Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kino on Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (extended hand-to-toe pose) is one of the most challenging poses in any standing pose series (it comes near the end of the Ashtana standing series). This Kino Macgregor video does a good job of explaining the actions of the pose. She says it's all about a deep inner movement of the head of the femur in the hip joint. In other words, it's not about getting the leg up high but about feeling the femur coming back in the joint during the first phase (standing, leg extended) and that the forward bend (chin to knee) can only come from that deep action.

Similarly, the movement out to the side comes from rotation in the hip joint, and again you don't need the leg up high but the hip (or the femur, really) needs to drop. The pose here is about getting that action, not the full extension necessarily.

What she doesn't mention, but seems critically important is to resist the temptation to bend the standing leg, which must be absolutely strong and lifting. Here's the video...

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