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Benefits of Padahastasana and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more


Isn’t it thought provoking that yoga uses the body to heal the body? Yoga relies on your own body for strengthening it. It focuses on steady posture and relaxation of muscles. This is what makes yoga different from other exercises. Other forms of exercises focus primarily on external equipment and inducing stress on the body.  

padahastasana yoga

Indian saints developed the traditional methods of yoga to control the mind and bodily activities.  Every human wishes to live in harmony with oneself. Physical, mental and spiritual balance is of utmost importance.1 

Today, Yoga is globalised and is widely practised in India and western countries.  People of all age groups, gender and nationalities practice yoga in various settings like schools, gyms, yoga studios, parks, homes, and temples. Yoga has become a profitable enterprise as its interest in people keeps increasing. Yogalates and Yogarobics are some of the modernised versions of yoga.2 

Yoga often sees the practice of asanas, one of which is padahastana. Let us look at some interesting features and benefits of padahastasana. 

What is Padahastasana 

Padahastasana is one of the asanas (pose) of surya namaskar. Surya means sun, and namaskar means salutation. Surya Namaskar comprises of breathing techniques (pranayama) and 7 asanas that are performed in cyclic order, thereby creating 12 asanas in total. Surya Namaskara includes 7 asanas like Pranamasana, Hastautthan Asana, Hastapad Asana, Ashwasanchalan Asana, Ashtang Namaskar, Bhujangasana and Parvatasana.3 

Pada means feet and hasta means hands. Therefore, padahastasana means keeping the palms down towards the feet.4 Padahastasana is also called hand-to-foot pose. It uses the breathing pattern of Ucchavasa, which refers to normal breathing. This means no exhalation or inhalation of breath, rather simple free breathing.3 

How to do it? 

Padahastasana must be done properly for maximum health benefits. One may perform padahastasana in the following manner: 

  • First, stand straight with feet about 2 inches apart. 
  • Then inhale slowly and simultaneously bring your arms up. 
  • Now, stretch the body from above your waist. 
  • Exhale and slowly bend forward until your palms touch the ground. 
  • Make your back as straight as possible by stretching it. 
  • Maintain this posture for 10-30 seconds. Breathe normally at this time. 
  • Now inhale and slowly come up to an upright position and stretch your arms right above your head. 
  • Finally, exhale slowly and come back to the starting position. 
  • Relax in samasthiti. Samasthiti is a simple standing pose, with feet together and body upright.4 
  • This is one cycle of padahastana.  

Do you know? 

  • The mantra ‘om suryay namah’ is chanted while doing this pose, which means prostration to Him who induces activity. 
  • The evolution of padahastasana has been started as early as 1938 and continuing till date. 

Benefits of Padahastasana: 

Some benefits of hand-to-foot pose are as follows: 

1. Benefit of Padahastasana for Headaches: 

Yogic postures like padahastasana may effectively control headaches. Sang in 2015 found that practising padahastasana may reduce headaches and the use of symptomatic medication. A clinical trial was conducted where migraine patients were using yoga conventional care for six weeks. The results suggested that people who practised this pose showed lesser frequency and intensity of headaches. However, if you have a severe headache for an extended period, you must consult your doctor.5 

2. Benefit of Padahastasana to Improve Concentration: 

Yoga postures like padahastasana may help to improve concentration and memory. It may be helpful in the case of ADHD symptoms in preschoolers (Samantha et al., 2019).  A clinical study on 100 students who practised yoga for about three months suggested significant improvement in attention, concentration and memory.5 

3. Benefit of Padahastasana to Improve Sleep: 

Short wavelengths of artificial blue light emitted by electronic gadgets may delay sleep by suppressing sleep-inducing hormones. A study showed that around 80% of participants using an electronic device for more than three hours a day experienced poor sleep quality. By reducing physiological arousal and inducing relaxation and positivity in the body, this asana may help to improve sleep. However, if you experience chronic sleep issues, you must get in touch with the doctor.5 

4. Benefit of Padahastasana to Manage Stress: 

The practice of padahastasana may help to manage stress by reducing heartbeat and blood pressure. It may also reduce the body’s oxygen demand, thereby reducing the vulnerability to stress. Fang and Li conducted a clinical trial on a population of 120 nurses. It was divided into two groups. One group attended the Yoga program while the other group did not. After a six-month follow-up, it was found that the ones who participated in the yoga program had reduced stress levels.5 

5. Benefit of Padahastasana for Heart Diseases and Blood Pressure: 

The practice of padahastasana may help to improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. It may control blood pressure. A study by Manchanda, S.C. (2014) suggested that Yoga may maintain cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Patel and North conducted a trial of yoga practice in 34 subjects less than 75 years old. The result showed a significant reduction in blood pressure. However, you must consult your doctor in case of abnormal blood pressure.5 

Also Read: “Do Honey Make You Last Longer in Bed? Unpacking Bedroom Myths”

6. Benefit of Padahastasana for Stomach Discomfort: 

This posture may help in the case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It includes abdominal pain, discomfort and bloating. A yoga module setup in a clinical trial, comprised various breathing techniques and postures. Padahastasana was one of the postures. The results showed a possible connection between the postures and the IBS symptoms. However, if you experience severe symptoms of IBS, you must immediately consult your doctor.6 

7. Benefit of Padahastasana to Improve Muscle Flexibility: 

Padahastasana may enhance the flexibility of hamstring muscles (muscles present at the back of the thighs). A study of 20 subjects suggested that padahastasana may improve hamstring muscle flexibility and reduce muscle tightness. However, further studies are required to confirm these claims.7 

8. Benefit of Padahastasana for Diabetes: 

Practising a series of postures that include padahastasana may help in the case of type 2 diabetes. The practice of yoga may keep blood glucose levels in control. Nagarathna et al. conducted a study where the subjects performed a variety of asanas. Padhastasana was one of them. The result of the study suggested a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes in individuals who practised yoga regularly. However, you must check your sugar levels and consult your doctor in case of abnormal sugar levels.8 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, you must not rely on Yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn Yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries. 

Practising Padahastasana, also known as the Forward Bend Pose, might have positive effects on your body’s flexibility and strength. By bending forward and reaching towards your toes, this yoga pose stretches the muscles in your back, hamstrings, and calves, increasing their flexibility.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Risks of Padahastasana 

Conditions where padahastasana should be done cautiously are: 

  • People who have cardiac disorders must avoid doing this pose. 
  • You must refrain from practising this pose if you have vertebral and disc disorders. 
  • In case of abdominal inflammation, you must not perform padahastasana. 
  • People who have hernia shall not do the pose. 
  • People having ulcers, glaucoma, myopia, or vertigo shall refrain from doing padahastasana.4 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher/yoga expert, we can access and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice exercise with precautions. 

In my experience, I have learned that Padahastasana might be effective in reducing excess abdominal fat. This yoga pose involves forward bending, which may help to stimulate the abdominal muscles and improve blood circulation in the area. With regular practice, Padahastasana can contribute to a reduction in abdominal fat and improve overall body strength and flexibility.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS


Padahastasana is one of the 12 poses of surya namaskar. Pada means feet; hasta means hands. Therefore, padahastasana means keeping the palms down towards the feet. It means hand-to-foot pose. Yogic postures like padahastasana may effectively control headaches, improve concentration, control sleep deprivation and manage stress. The practice of padahastasana may improve heart health by keeping blood pressure in control. Additionally, it may relieve the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). It may also control blood sugar levels and improve the flexibility of hamstring muscles. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) Which is the hand-to-foot pose in yoga? 

Padahastasana is the hand-to-foot pose. Pada means foot, hasta means hand and asana meaning pose. Therefore, padahastasana translates to hand-to-foot pose in English. 4 

2) What are the benefits of padahastasana? 

Padahastasana yoga pose may control headaches, improve concentration, control sleep deprivation and manage stress. It may improve the heart health by keeping blood pressure in control. Additionally, it may relieve the symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It may also control blood sugar levels and improve the flexibility of hamstring muscles.5-8 

3) What are the steps of padahastasana? 

First, stand straight with feet about 2 inches apart. Then inhale slowly and simultaneously raise your arms up. Then, stretch up the body from your waist. Exhale and slowly bend forward until your palms touch the ground. Make your back as straight as possible by stretching it. Maintain this posture for 10-30 seconds. Breathe normally at this time. Now inhale and slowly come up to an upright position and stretch your arms right above your head. Finally, exhale slowly and come back to the starting position. Relax in samasthiti (simple standing position).4 

4) What are the contraindications of padahastasana? 

People having cardiac disorders, vertebral and disc disorders, hernia, glaucoma, abdominal inflammation, ulcers, myopia, vertigo shall be cautious while performing padahastasana.4 

5) Is padahastasana a part of surya namaskar? 

Yes, padahastasana is one of the poses of surya namaskar. 


1. Yadav SK, Kumar A, Kumar V, Kumar A. Importance of Yoga in daily life. Accessed on January. 2015;30:2019. Available from: http://eduera.org.in/eduera/saraswatischoollatur/uploads/questionpaperbank/13-06-2019-11-38-4949.717800-1stSunilthimaticalpaperVyechariki.pdf 

2. Singleton M, Byrne J, editors. Yoga in the modern world. London: Routledge; 2008. Available from: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9780203894996/yoga-modern-world-mark-singleton-jean-byrne 

3. Nikam VM. A Role Of ‘Surya Namaskara’ For Good Health. Available from: https://www.aiirjournal.com/uploads/Articles/2020/03/4434_25.Vd.Manisha%20Nikam.pdf 

4. 21 June INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA Common Yoga Protocol, Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) [Internet] 4th Revised Edition, May 2019. [Cited: 2022 Sep 10] Available from: https://mea.gov.in/images/pdf/common-yoga-protocol-english.pdf 

5. Sharma B, Pant K, Pant B, Sharma P, Thapliyal M, Sinha S, Pandey A, Chaudhary V, Verma D. ELECTRONIC DETOXIFICATION WITH YOGA AND MEDITATION. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/351618249_ELECTRONIC_DETOXIFICATION_WITH_YOGA_AND_MEDITATION 

6. Kavuri V, Raghuram N, Malamud A, Selvan SR. Irritable bowel syndrome: Yoga as remedial therapy. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2015 May 6;2015. Available from: https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2015/398156/ 

7. Paul A, Sasidharan AN, Majeedkutty NA. Effect Of Padahastasana In Improving Hamstring Muscle Flexibility Among Young Adults. Available from: https://pesquisa.bvsalud.org/portal/resource/pt/sea-185269 

8. Chattopadhyay K, Mishra P, Manjunath NK, Harris T, Hamer M, Greenfield SM, Wang H, Singh K, Lewis SA, Tandon N, Kinra S. Development of a yoga program for type-2 diabetes prevention (YOGA-DP) among high-risk people in India. Frontiers in public health. 2020 Nov 17;8:548674. Available from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.548674/full 

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