Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose): Steps, Benefits, Contraindications

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose) - SharpMuscle
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Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana, also known as Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose or Dancing Shiva Pose, strengthens the legs, quadriceps, calves, ankles, and core, while stretching hamstrings, helping to improve flexibility and release tension in the back of the thighs.


Known as:Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana, Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose, Dancing Shiva Pose
Sanskrit name:परिवृत्त हस्त पादाङ्गुष्ठासन
IAST:Parivṛtta Hasta Pādāṅguṣṭhāsana
Pronunciation:pah-ree-vrit-tah hah-stah pah-dahn-goosh-thah-sah-nah
Type:Standing, twist , stretch , balance Pose
Focus:Legs, ankles, core
Total time:20-60 seconds
Drishti:The extended hand or fingertips
Chakra:Manipura Chakra (Solar Plexus Chakra), Svadhisthana Chakra (Sacral Chakra), Anahata Chakra (Heart Chakra)
Indications:Hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, ankles, core, chest, shoulders, upper body, abdominal organs, digestive health, focus, concentration, stress, energy and vitality
Counterposes:Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Balasana (Child’s Pose), Bharmanasana (Tabletop Pose), Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) Arms
Preparatory poses:Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose), Vrikshasana (Tree Pose), Ardha Uttanasana (Half Forward Bend Pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
Follow-up poses:Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose), Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Contraindications:Ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, arms, or spine injuries; abdominal surgery or surgery to any part of the body; complications or disorders related to these organs, such as digestive issues, hernias, or respiratory; severe sciatica, pregnant women


Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana

The term “Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana” is a Sanskrit name, which can be broken into four words – Parivrtta + Hasta + Padangustha + Asana:

  1. Parivrtta” = “revolved” or “twisted”
  2. Hasta” = “hand”
  3. Padangustha” = “big toe”
  4. Asana” = “pose” or “posture.”

Therefore, the literal meaning of “Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana” is “Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose.” This name describes the physical action and alignment of the pose, where the hand reaches around to hold the big toe while the body is twisted or revolved.

In Sanskrit, the names of yoga poses often describe the form, function, or qualities associated with the pose. The name reflects the essence and intention of the pose, providing practitioners with a symbolic and descriptive understanding of the posture.

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Benefits of Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose) offers a range of physical and mental benefits, which are listed below:

Physical Benefits:

  • Stretches the hamstrings
  • Helps to improve flexibility and release tension in the back of the thighs
  • Increases flexibility and mobility in the hip joint
  • Strengthens the legs, quadriceps, calves, ankles, and core
  • Opens the chest and shoulders
  • Improve the posture
  • Release tension in the upper body
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs
  • Improve digestion and digestive health

Mental Benefits:

  • Improved focus and concentration
  • Calm the mind
  • Increased body awareness and mindfulness
  • Enhanced sense of balance
  • Release of tension
  • Promote relaxation
  • Reduce stress
  • Boost energy and vitality

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana Practice Guide

Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana is a standing yoga pose that involves a revolved or twisted hand-to-big-toe position.

In this asana, you start by standing on one leg and bringing the knee of the opposite leg toward the chest. With the first and second fingers of the hand on the same side, you reach around and grasp the big toe of the lifted leg. Then, you straighten the lifted leg forward while maintaining balance. As you extend the leg, you revolve or twist the torso in the opposite direction, reaching the opposite hand towards the back.

Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose offers a combination of balance, flexibility, and twisting elements. It primarily stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors while engaging the core, leg muscles, and stabilizing muscles for balance. The twist in the torso helps to open the chest, improve spinal mobility, and stimulate the abdominal organs.

It is crucial to approach this asana mindfully, respecting your body’s limitations, and maintaining proper alignment. Modifications and variations can be utilized to adapt the asana based on individual needs and abilities. Consulting with a qualified yoga instructor/teacher can provide guidance and ensure safe and effective practice of Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Dancing Shiva Pose).

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. Start by assuming a standing position at the top of your mat. Transfer your weight onto your right leg and ensure that you’re pressing down firmly through all four corners of the foot.
  2. Bring your left knee up towards your chest. Create a loop with your right hand’s first and second fingers around your left big toe.
  3. Stand up straight, lengthen your spine, and lower your tailbone.
  4. Place your left hand on your left hip to stabilize your pelvis. Extend your left foot forward, putting pressure on your heel.
  5. Extend your right hand towards the back of your mat.
  6. Gradually turn your gaze back in the direction of your right hand.
  7. Maintain this pose for 5 to 10 breaths, then release the twist and slowly lower your lifted leg back to the floor. Take a few breaths in the standing position before repeating the sequence on the opposite side.
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Common Mistakes

Awareness and mindfulness are key in avoiding the common mistakes. Pay attention to proper alignment, engaging the muscles, respect the body’s limitations, and practice with a focus on breath awareness, you can enhance the benefits of “Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana” while minimizing the risk of strain or injury.

However, the common mistakes of Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose are explained below:

  1. Imbalanced weight distribution: Placing excessive weight on the supporting leg or not grounding through all four corners of the foot can lead to instability and compromise the alignment of the pose. This imbalance can strain the supporting leg and hinder proper engagement of the muscles, reducing the effectiveness of the pose and potentially leading to muscle imbalances or joint discomfort.
  2. Rounded or collapsed spine: Allowing the spine to round or collapse during the twist can diminish the benefits of the pose and strain the back. It is important to maintain a tall and lengthened spine, engaging the core muscles to support the twist. A rounded spine can also compress the abdominal area and restrict the breath, limiting the overall benefits of the asana.
  3. Gripping or straining with the hand holding the toe: Pulling or gripping too tightly with the hand holding the toe can create tension in the shoulders, arms, and neck. It is critical to maintain a gentle and relaxed grip, allowing the focus to be on the twist and balance rather than excessive strain in the upper body.
  4. Over-twisting or forcing the twist: Pushing beyond your current range of motion or over-twisting can strain the muscles and ligaments of the spine, hips, or knees. It is crucial to approach the twist gradually and mindfully, respecting the body’s limits and finding a comfortable edge without forcing or pushing beyond what feels appropriate for your body.
  5. Lack of proper engagement in the extended leg: Failing to engage the muscles of the extended leg, especially the quadriceps and hip flexors, can lead to instability and reduced effectiveness of the asana. It is essential to activate the leg by pressing through the heel and engaging the muscles to create stability and support the extended position.
  6. Neglecting breath awareness: Neglecting to maintain a steady and mindful breath throughout the asana can result in tension and a less integrated experience. Conscious breath awareness helps to deepen the twist, promote relaxation, and create a sense of flow and ease in the asana.

Modifications and Variations

Modifications and variations help you adapt the asana to your unique needs, making it more accessible, safe, and comfortable. It allows you to focus on the benefits of the asana while respecting your body’s limitations or specific circumstances.

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However, the modifications and variations of “Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana” are explained below:

  1. Using a yoga strap or towel: If reaching the extended leg with your hand is challenging, you can use a yoga strap or towel. Loop the strap around the sole of your foot and hold the ends with your hand, allowing you to gently extend the leg without strain. This modification helps in maintaining proper alignment and preventing excessive strain on the muscles and joints.
  2. Using a block for stability: Balancing on one leg might be challenging, especially for beginners or those with balance issues. Placing a yoga block under your hand for support can provide stability and make the pose more accessible. It helps to focus on the alignment and allows you to find your balance without compromising your form.
  3. Practicing against a wall: If maintaining balance is difficult, practicing this pose with the support of a wall can be helpful. Stand close to the wall and gently place the extended hand on the wall for stability. This modification provides a sense of security, allowing you to focus on the twist and alignment without worrying about balance.
  4. Gentle twist with the knee bent: For individuals with hip, knee, or spinal limitations, a gentle modification can be done by keeping the knee of the extended leg bent. Instead of extending the leg fully, gently twist the upper body while keeping the knee bent at a comfortable angle. This modification reduces the intensity of the pose and provides a modified twist that is more suitable for certain individuals.
  5. Supine variation: If standing poses are not accessible due to specific health concerns or injuries, a supine variation can be practiced. Lie on your back and perform a supine twist, bringing one knee towards the chest and gently guiding it across the body with the opposite hand. This variation offers a similar twisting motion but in a reclined position, making it suitable for those with limitations in standing poses.

Precautions and Contraindications

Precautions and contraindications of Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana are explained below:

  1. Injury of the ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, arms, or spine: This pose involves balancing on one leg and can place stress on these joints. Individuals with any existing injuries in these areas should approach the pose with caution or avoid it altogether to prevent further strain or discomfort.
  2. Recovering from abdominal surgery or surgery to any part of the body: After surgery, it is crucial to allow the body to heal properly. This asana involves twisting and engaging the core, which may not be suitable during the recovery period. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified yoga instructor/teacher to determine when it is safe to practice such asanas.
  3. Complications with respect to any visceral organs (chest and abdomen): The twisting action in this asana may compress or strain the abdominal and chest areas. Individuals with any complications or disorders related to these organs, such as digestive issues, hernias, or respiratory conditions, should avoid or modify this pose to prevent discomfort or exacerbation of their condition.
  4. Severe sciatica: Sciatica is a condition characterized by pain radiating along the sciatic nerve, typically down the back of the leg. The twisting motion in this pose may aggravate the sciatic nerve and increase discomfort. It is best to avoid this pose or seek guidance from a healthcare professional or yoga instructor to modify it appropriately.
  5. Pregnant women: During pregnancy, the body undergoes significant changes, and certain poses may not be suitable. Twisting poses like Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose can put strain on the abdominal area and may affect the balance and stability of pregnant women. It is generally recommended for pregnant women to avoid deep twists and consult with a prenatal yoga instructor for safe modifications and alternative poses.

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