Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

Utthita means extended.  Hasta means the hand.  Padangustha is the big toe.  This pose is done by standing on one leg, extending the other in front, holding the toe of the extended leg and resting the head on the leg.

Techniques of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1)

2. Exhale, raise the right leg by bending the knee and hold the big toe of the right foot between the thumb and the fore and middle fingers of the right hand.

3. Rest the left hand on the left hip and balance.  (Plate 20)  Take two breaths.

4. Exhale, stretch the right leg forward and pull it.  (Plate 21) Take two breaths.

5. Whe you are firm in this position, hold the right foot with both hands and raise it still higher.  (Plate 22) Take two breaths.

6. Now, with an exhalation rest the head, then the nose and lastly the chin beyond the right knee. (Plate 23) Stay in this position and take a few deep breaths.

7. Exhale, release the hands and lower the right leg to the floor to return to Tadasana (Plate 1)

8. Repeat the pose on the other side, keeping the right leg on the floor and raising the left leg.

9. Balancing in position 5 and 6 is difficult and cannot be attained without mastering position 4.

Effects of Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana :

This asana makes the leg muscles powerful and the balance gives one steadiness and poise.

Ardha Chandrasana

Ardha means half. Chandra is the moon.  The pose resembles the half moon, hence the name.

Techniques of Ardha Chandrasana :

1. Stand in Tadasana (Plate 1) and then do Uthita Trikonasana, (Plate 4) following the technique described earlier.

2. After attaining Trikonasana on the right side, exhale and place the right palm about a foot away from the right foot by bending the right knee and at the same time bringing the left foot near the right one.

3. Wait in this position and take two breathes.  Then exhale and raise the left leg from the floor, toes pointing up; satretch the right hand and the right leg.

4. Place the left palm over the left hip and stretch up, keeping the shoulders well up.  Turn the chest to the left and balance (Plate 19)

5. The weight of the body is borne on the right foot and hip.  The right hand is only a support to control the balance.

6. Hold the pose from 20  to 30 sec.  breathing deeply and evenly.  Then slide the left leg to the floor and go back to Trikonasana (Plate 4)

7. Repeat the pose on the left side.

Effects of Ardha Chandrasana :

The posture is beneficial for those whose legs are damaged or infected.  It tones the lower region of the spine and the nerves connected with the leg muscles and it strengthens the knees.  Along with other standing postures, this asana cures gastric troubles.

Note:  Those who feel weak and are exhausted by the standing poses should only practice Utthita Trikonasana (Plate 4) and Utthita Parsvakonasana (plate 8), as these two asanas strengthen the body.  The other standing asanas should be done only by people

who have built up their strength and whose bodies have become elastic.