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Ubhaya Padangusthasana, or 'Big Toe Pose", (because let's face it, it's a bit of a mouthful) can be reached in 3 very simple yet effective ways. Here Christine outlines these ways for us, along with her reasons for including it in her daily practice, and the importance of yoga to her life.
Ubhaya padangusthasana can be realized in 3 different ways.
1. Begin in paschimottanasa (seated forward fold) and grab hold of the big toes with “yogi toelock,” then bend the knees. Rock back on the sitz bones, firming the belly. Maintain a lift in the chest. and extend the legs skyward. It is important to keep the chest lifted and not allow the upper back to round, or you will find yourself flat on your back lickety split.2. If you do end up rolling over, you can simply enter the pose from another direction by continuing all the way back to halasana (plough) and with the momentum of an inhale, engaging the core, rock up to the sitz bones, quickly tone the abdomen on an exhale (what I call belly brakes) and extend the legs.
Teaching yoga slipped into my life through the subconscious, through dreams. I was teaching in dreams before I was teaching in waking life, and that seems fitting. As a teacher, I believe I am effective only when I am out of my own way and recognize myself as the conduit for shared experience, cosmic energy and information that has been delicately handed down and ardently protected throughout thousands of years.
We are all at our most authentic and most powerful when we embrace ourselves completely as the miracle we are, without needing to claim credit for the miracle. A flower only needs to be seen, held and smelled to be appreciated. It needs only be itself to be recognized as extraordinary. I consider it the greatest blessing and gift to be part of any process that gives human beings a glimpse of their potential and then a tangible path to reveal it.
Have fun practicing ubhaya padangusthasana!
More on Hatha Yoga.