The toe stand pose is the 12th posture -- or asana -- of Bikram yoga’s 26 postures. The pose builds on the 11th posture, known as the tree. The toe stand, also called “Padangustasana,” is a challenging position, requiring good leg flexibility, concentration, balance and strength. If you have trouble with the pose, try performing it with your back against the wall to assist your balance.
Stand erect with your feet together, arms extended at your sides and your eyes looking straight ahead.
Shift your weight to your left leg as you raise your right foot by flexing your knee. Position your right foot toward the upper portion of your left thigh. If you wish, hold your leg with your right hand to help you position it there. Bring your palms together in front of your chest with your fingers pointed up.
Bend forward from the waist while reaching your hands toward the floor. Shift a bit of weight to your fingers or fingertips as they touch the floor, but keep your right foot in place on your left thigh. Your back should be roughly horizontal, or tilted slightly down toward the floor, and your eyes should look down when your fingers reach the floor.
Lower yourself by bending your left knee and bringing your hips down until your buttocks rest very lightly on your left heel, which you’ll raise as you lower your body. Walk your fingers back toward your body as needed. When you’ve lowered yourself completely, only your fingers and the ball of your left foot should touch the floor. Your upper body should be vertical and your right foot should rest on top of your left thigh.
Slide your hands a bit so they’re evenly-spaced and close to your left foot. Raise your left hand to mid-chest level. Alternatively, move your right hand behind your right leg for balance before you raise your left hand. When you’re completely balanced, lift your right hand slowly to join your left with your palms together and your fingers pointed up.
M.L. Rose has worked as a print and online journalist for more than 20 years. He has contributed to a variety of national and local publications, specializing in sports writing. Rose holds a B.A. in communications.