Standing Big Toe: May Yoga Pose of the Month


Strengthen your core, lengthen your spine and create hamstring flexibility!

Standing Big Toe (Sanskrit: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)

May 2016 Pose of the Month - Celeste

1. Stand in Mountain pose. Engage your core with left hand on hip. Root your left foot into the floor/foundation. Focus on something that’s not moving and begin to draw your right knee up toward your chest. Pause and get centered holding knee with right hand.
2. Bring your right arm to the inside of your right thigh. If you have a strap, this will go around the bottom of your foot. If you have on shoes, you can use your shoestring (as pictured above). If you have more hamstring flexibility, loop your peace fingers and thumb around your right big toe. Lengthen spine and open your chest sliding shoulder blades down your back. Engage your abdominals making sure not to lock out standing leg.
3. Take a deep breath in and on the exhalation, extend your right leg. Straighten your right leg as much as possible without locking it out while keeping both hips squared to the front and chest open with relaxed shoulders. You may keep your left hand on your hip or reach arm up. Gaze can stay forward or you can look up to add a balance challenge.
4. Stay in the pose for ~5 breaths. To move out of pose, just simply reverse the steps and come back to Mountain. Repeat on the other side/same amount of time. Notice the difference in each side.  Usually your body has a favorite!

Note:  You can perform this pose with or without shoes.

Benefits:  Strengthens core, lengthens spine, creates hamstring flexibility

Namaste - The light within me honors the grace and wisdom within you.


About Author

Celeste Cooper

Wellness & Fitness Manager

Celeste has been in the science, health and wellness field over twenty-five years. She began as a research chemist with a concentration in genetics and nutritional biochemistry. After working in the medical field, she saw the need to follow a path of proactive wellness and prevention. After receiving her Masters in Health Education, she ventured into the mind/body world receiving training in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Yoga. Shortly after, she received the 2003 Wellness in the Workplace Award for a large health system in the state of Virginia. In 2004, Celeste joined SAS Institute, Inc. and continues to be passionate in her position overseeing Wellness and Fitness. She believes curiosity and collaboration bring insight and new ideas which bring out the best in everyone from team members to those who are making healthy lifestyle changes. Believing that the body knows how to heal if given the proper tools, Celeste earned certifications in Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, Classical Chinese Medicine and Homeopathic & Naturopathic Medicine. She earned her Doctor of Naturopathy degree in 2020. Celeste is a published author and practices what she preaches and teaches. She is a nationally recognized Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) and has advanced certificates in Integrative and Functional Nutrition, Genetics and Genomics. She is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the National Yoga Alliance, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach (FMCHC) and Certified Yoga Therapist (CYT).

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