Hastapadasana Yoga Standing Forward Bend

Hastapadasana, or the standing forward bend pose, is a fundamental part of the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) sequence, illustrating the deep connection between yoga practices and the veneration of natural elements like the sun.

Hastapadasana Basics

Sanskrit PronunciationHastapadasana
MeaningHasta- hand; Padah- foot; asana- pose
Pose TypeForward-Bend, standing
Pose LevelBeginner
Style of yogaHatha yoga
Other NamesForward Bend Pose
StretchesThe hamstring, hip, and neck muscles
Strengthening The neck area, spine, hip joints, shoulder joints and arms
Duration30 second to 3 minutes


In Hastapadasana , Hasta means ‘hand’ and Padah- foot. Hastapadasana is called ‘Hand to feet pose’ or ‘Forward Bend Pose’. Due to the positioning of the palm near the feet in this pose, Hastapadasana gets its identity.

This pose, when performed as the third step of Surya Namaskar, is about stretching upwards and then bending forward to touch the feet, which can be seen as reaching up to the heavens to receive the blessings of the sun god. It’s a moment of upward aspiration, acknowledging the sun’s energy before drawing it down towards oneself.

Repeating this pose as the tenth Surya Namaskar step in the sequence symbolizes a bowing down or a more profound gesture of respect and gratitude towards the sun.

Hastapadasana is also known by different derived names around its variant pose Uttanasana. Gorilla pose is one of the specific names of Hastapadasana.

Practice Guide for Hastapadasana

This guide provides practitioners with a systematic breakdown of the pose, offering clear instructions on body positioning, alignment, and breathing techniques.

Preparatory Poses

How to do Hastapadasana Yoga (Standing Forward Bend):


  • Start in a standing position, feet together or hip-width apart, arms by your sides. This is known as Tadasana or Mountain Pose.
  • Ensure your weight is evenly distributed through your feet, and you’re standing tall, with your spine elongated.
Hastapadasana Yoga Standing Forward Bend
  • Inhale and Raise Your Arms: Inhale deeply and stretch your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Keep your arms straight and close to your ears.
Hastapadasana Yoga Standing Forward Bend
  • Exhale and Bend Forward: As you exhale, bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you come down, aim to keep your back and spine straight. Bring your hands down towards the floor.
Hastapadasana Yoga Standing Forward Bend
  • Hand Placement: Place your hands beside your feet, on your feet, or grab your ankles, depending on your flexibility. If you cannot reach the floor, it’s okay to bend your knees slightly or use a yoga block for support.
  • Deepen the Stretch: Try to bring your chest closer to your knees, aiming to keep your legs as straight as possible without straining. With each exhale, allow yourself to deepen into the stretch, but don’t push beyond your comfort level.
Hastapadasana Yoga Standing Forward Bend
  • Neck and Shoulders: Keep your neck relaxed and extended, your shoulders away from your ears, allowing your head to hang freely or rest on your legs if you’re deep in the pose.
  • Hold the Pose: Maintain this position for a few breaths, typically 15 to 30 seconds for beginners, gradually increasing the duration as you gain flexibility and comfort.

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Coming Out of the Pose

  • Inhale and Lengthen Your Torso: To come out of the pose, lengthen your torso forward as you inhale.
  • Exhale and Rise: Press your feet into the floor, engage your thigh muscles, and with a straight back, rise to standing, stretching your arms forward and up, then down by your sides.
  • Return to Tadasana: Come back to the standing position, Tadasana, and take a few deep breaths.

Follow Up Pose


  • Stretches and strengthens the muscles of the legs and back.
  • Improves flexibility in the hip joints and spine.
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs.
  • Can help relieve stress and reduce fatigue.
  • Improves digestion.
  • Hair growth and reduces hair fall.


  • Beginners might need to bend their knees slightly if their hamstrings are tight.
  • People suffering from cervical or any kind of back pain should avoid this.
  • People suffering from spondylitis should also not perform this asana.
  • A person suffering from spinal problems, hypertension, ulcers or a hernia, cardiac problems should not try this asana.
  • Avoid this asana if you had recently suffered from chronic injuries of hips, legs, shoulders or back.


Hastapadasana, or the Standing Forward Bend, is a basic yet profound yoga posture that is one of the sequences of the Surya Namaskar series. It stretches the back and legs, improves flexibility, and can help calm the mind.

You can also read:- 10 Yoga Poses For Beginners | 7 Simple Yoga for Shoulders Pain | Yoga for belly fat | Yoga to increase Height | 7 Yoga Poses for Insomnia | Nadis | 7 Yoga poses for Weight Lifters |


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The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional