The standing big toe pose is a yoga posture best suited for intermediate yoga practitioners. It stretches your legs’ back part, and it is really challenging when it comes to balance. This is a great asana to perform if you want to prepare your body for other postures such as the monkey pose. Let’s take a look at how this asana must be done.
How to Perform the Standing Big Toe Pose
Start this asana from the mountain pose, which requires a standing position. Keep your legs together and your arms in a resting position alongside your torso. Breathe slowly and deeply. Also, do your best in calming your mind. This pose requires your entire focus. Shift your body’s weight on your left foot and slowly lift your right knee until it reaches your chest area. Your right arm must be placed on the inside part of your right thigh. Use your index finger as well as the middle finger to grab your lifted foot’s big toe. The other hand, the left one, should remain in a resting position on your left hip. Straighten and lengthen your spine and truly engage your abdominal muscles as well as the left leg’s muscles. Although the proper way to do the standing big toe pose is by strengthening your support leg (in this case the left one), you shouldn’t lock your knee.
Take This Pose to the Next Level
Exhale slowly and extend the lifted right leg in front. Straighten it as much as possible. Both your hips should be squared forward, and your spine should remain straight. Maintain your upper body part, including the neck and shoulders, soft and relaxed. Don’t scrunch them! Align your hips by dropping a little your right hip. Your body’s main focus should be around the midline. This is the line that goes through your body’s center. Maintain the standing big toe pose as much as you can. The minimum required is for five breaths. But you can even hold it for up to 20 breaths if it isn’t too challenging for you. To come out of this asana, you must bend your right knee back to your chest. Then, you must lower your right leg until your foot touches the floor. In other words, come back into the mountain pose. Don’t forget to repeat this asana on your other side, lifting your left leg this time.
The most important aspects to consider during this pose are keeping your back straight and relaxing your upper body. That is even more crucial than straightening your leg forward. If you have troubles in keeping your spine lengthened, you should use a strap.
Focus more on the stretching part than on the lifting. It doesn’t really matter that much how high you can lift your leg.
Stand as tall as you can even if that means you will probably fall the first time or lose your balance a bit. The key is perseverance.
Putting It All Together
This pose is a great one with plenty of benefits. Still, you should perform it within your personal limits and ability range. If you are less experienced, you should use a wall to support your leg against it.