- Ubhaya: Both sides
- Pada: Foot
- Angusta: Big Toe
- Asana: Pose
Ubhaya Padangusthasana is the twenty-eight pose of the primary series, and the twenty-fourth seated pose. This posture, as with Supta Konasana, prepares the practitioner for Sarvangasana-family poses. It also serves to create strength and coordination in the low belly and hips.
This asana is very similar to Supta Konasana. The exit is the only major difference.
Study Supta Konasana closely and have competence with it before introducing this movement. All the same actions apply.
Once balanced in the state of the asana, press away with the legs and resist with the arms. Use this dialogue of opposition to create lift in the spine and heart, as if you could lift your heart up through the space between your arms. The sensation in the torso should be of attempting to backbend, as the low belly curls in around the point of the Bandha to create balance and stability.
Vinyasa of the Pose
The breath is a major ally here. It is important to use the breath and the bandha, and even to exaggerate them. Shyness with the breath makes this vinyasa more challenging than necessary.
Exhaling, keep the hands pressing into the floor by your hips and lay down slowly.
Inhale, reach the arms up overhead.
As the next exhalation leaves the body, lift straight legs off the ground, lift the hips, and place the feet in the hands smoothly.
Inhale, straighten the spine.
Exhale strongly, curl in, and rock forward to balance. Inhale as you find your balance point. Gaze upwards. Five breaths here; this is the state of the asana.
Exhale, keep the legs where they are but place the hands on the floor beside the hips. Lift up; take vinyasa.
Do not be satisfied with bending the knees or releasing the grip on the toes to rock up. If compromised in that way, the asana becomes largely worthless.
If you’re unable to follow the vinyasa as described and are tempted to roll into or out of the posture with momentum, place this asana aside for the moment and study previous asana in the primary series more.