Utthita hasta padangusthasana improves one's sense of physical and mental balance. It improves concentration during meditative practices, balances emotions, promotes steadiness of the mind and increases self-awareness. This pose also helps one stay connected to the foundation of ease and equanimity that is always within while deepening the strength of the core and opening the heart.
Utthita hasta padangusthasana works with the svadisthana (spleen or sacral) and muladhara (root) chakras. Stimulating these two chakras helps strengthen one's sense of stability, openness to intimacy, creativity and sense of Self.
For modifications, beginners may keep the knee bent and open the hip to the side or use a strap to hold on to the foot. In addition, the gaze may be kept forward until enough balance is achieved to look to the side.