The Toe Stand in the Bikram Series or Padangusthasana in Sanskrit is the last pose in the standing series before you take your Savasana. The Sanskrit word Padangusthasana has the English translation of Big Toe Stand and is done in other yoga series besides Bikram Hot Yoga. The Toe Stand has a lot of similarities to the previous pose in the series, which is Tree Stand but is much more advanced. It is also the final pose in the balancing portion of the Hot Yoga Series. You will find that many students of Hot Yoga can not do the Toe Stand but will do a second set of Tree Stand in its place.
You need to be very careful of going into the Toe Stand because it is easy to injure yourself, especially your knee. I personally know yoga instructors who, during teacher training, were forced by bad trainers to go into Toe Stand and seriously injure their knees, and it took them a long time to recover. You should never let any yoga instructor force you to do anything you cannot do, but that is a story and post for some other time. Let's now take a look at how you do the Toe Stand safely and correctly.
To start the Toe Stand, pick up the right foot from the outside with the left hand, just like you do in the Tree Stand. You need to bring your right foot onto your left thigh. Try and drop your right knee down and back towards the wall. Your weight is distributed evenly through your standing foot, the standing leg is perfectly straight, and your spine is extended. Bring your right hand to your chest, then bring your left hand to your right hand in prayer or Namaskar if your standing leg is straight and you are in balance. This is the part where you need to become honest with yourself and decide how much further you can or cannot go.
If you are a new student or have any knee issues, just do another Tree Stand set. If you want to go into the Toe Stand, begin to look four feet in front of you. You can look at the floor four feet in front of you even if you are doing Tree Stand since it will help you work towards the Toe Stand in the future. To move into Toe Stand, you need to hinge forward at the waist and bring the fingertips to the floor in front of you while keeping the left leg straight. You should be engaging your abdominals the whole time as you hinge forward. If you have your fingertips on the floor and standing leg straight, begin to bend at the knee with your standing leg.
Begin to sit your hips and bring them closer to the floor and try sitting on your heel. The standing left thigh should be more in line with the floor underneath you. You need to lengthen your spine and bring your hands to the chest in Namaskar. If you lose your balance while getting your hands into Namaskar, it is okay to bring your hands to the sides and place them on the floor to remain posture.
You are balancing on the ball of the standing foot with the heel up. When you are ready to come out of the Toe Stand, bring the finger tops on the floor directly in front of you and begin to lift out of the posture the same way, you came into it. When you get to the top, release your right foot and return to your neutral position with ankle bones touching with hands to the side.
The Toe Stand or Padangusthasana is the final standing pose in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series. It can be dangerous to do if you or either inexperienced or are a beginner. If you have any trouble doing the Toe Stand, just do a second Tree Stand set. The critical factor in knowing if it is safe to go forward into the
You can do Toe Stand when you can hinge forward from your waist and place your fingertips on the floor in front of you while your standing leg is perfectly straight. Once you can do that, you may be ready to go deeper into the Toe stand but listen to your body as always and any moment with resistance, take a step back. As always, have a safe practice and Namaste.