How To Do Hand To Big Toe Hold

By: Chris Freytag, CPT

Chloe Freytag demonstrating yogi toe hold side in a blue tank top and blue yoga pants

Hand To Big Toe Hold is a balance pose that improves not only balance but stability and posture while stretching your hamstring and hip. In addition, while you stand on one leg to balance you are improving the stability and strength in your ankle. If you are looking for a way to improve your balance and stretch tight leg muscles you should learn to do Hand To Big Toe Hold.

Balance is an important element of your fitness routine, especially as you age. The Mayo Clinic reports that balance training is important, especially with age, since a deterioration in balance can lead to falls and fractures. And yet, balance is crucial for everyone. It improves your workouts, protects you from injury and lessens the effects of every day slips and falls. Hand To Big Toe Hold is a basic enough balance pose that everyone can do it, and yet it can be made as more difficult through longer limbs, higher leg lifts or even by closing your eyes so that the advanced yogi is still challenged.

If you have tight hamstrings and are unable to make your leg extend far enough in this pose, you can use a strap, wrapped round the foot, to “lengthen your arm” so that the leg can extend farther for a truer pose.

If balance is new to you and you find yourself struggling and tipping over too much to effectively practice this pose, start by trying Hand To Big Toe Hold next to a wall. Use your hand against the wall to help you get the leg in place and then play with taking your hand off the wall and relying more on your core muscles to balance you. If you begin to tip over, catch your hand on the wall again.

Here are the steps for learning how to do Hand To Big Toe Hold:

1) Stand tall with feet together, lift right foot up and place it on your left inner thigh.

2) Engage abdominals and reach right index and middle fingers toward right big toe and grab hold. Place your left hand on your hip.

3) Slowly begin to extend right leg out to the right side of your body as far as you can according to your hamstring flexibility. Keep body tall and hips centered. Hold steady for 30 seconds and breathe. Switch sides.

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