Supta Padangusthasana also known as Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose. Reclining Big Toe Pose (also sometimes called “Supine Big Toe Pose”) is a gentle hamstring stretch that can be modified for all levels. Incorporating this pose into your yoga practice or post-workout stretching routine will create a greater range of motion in your thighs, which will enhance all of your activities!
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Do not practice this pose if you are currently experiencing headaches or diarrhea. Those with high blood pressure should rest their heads and neck on a firm blanket. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.
How To Do The Supta Padangusthasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Lie down on your back with your legs stretched out and feet flexed. Press your feet through your heels.
2. Exhale. Pull your right knee towards your chest, and loop a strap around the arch of the right foot. If you are a seasoned yoga practitioner, use two fingers and hook them onto the big toe.
3. Now, straighten and stretch your right leg up to the ceiling, such that your arms are straight, and your shoulders are pressing the floor.
4. Keep pushing and extending your left leg, pressing the top of your left thigh down with the left hand. The extension of the right leg must create a comfortable stretch in the back of the leg.
5. You could either hold the pose here or turn the right leg out, bringing that leg down on your right side. But if you do this, you must ensure your left hip is grounded on the floor.
6. Hold each variation for as long as you are comfortable, and then repeat the asana with the left leg on top.
Supta Padangusthasana can benefit all yoga practitioners, no matter what your level. Keep the following information in mind when practicing this pose:
- Be sure to use a strap and make any other adjustments you need to ensure that you’re not pushing yourself too hard in this pose. Be patient, and you will gain flexibility in time.
- It might be difficult for beginners to feel the head of the thigh bone releasing into the pelvis. If this is the case, keep your breath steady and smooth. Bring your awareness to the thigh of your raised leg. As you relax in the pose, you may begin to feel the leg releasing and relaxing downward.
If you are especially stiff, do this pose with the bottom-leg heel pressed against a wall. It’s also useful to position a block just outside the raised-leg hip. Then when you swing the leg to the side, rest it on the block. The support under the thigh will help you soften the inner groin.
Modifications & Variations
Make the following modifications to find a variation of the pose that works for you:
- If your hamstrings are very tight, your raised leg might be more horizontal than vertical when it’s extended. That is perfectly fine. To make the pose more accessible, you can bend the knee of the resting leg, placing that foot flat on the mat. This will allow your low back and sit bones to drop to the mat, reducing stress on your back. You can also raise the heel of the lower leg by resting it on a block.
- Beginners and those with tighter hamstrings can also practice this pose with the heel of the bottom leg pressed against a wall. This helps to teach the extension of the lower leg.
- To help support the groins when opening the leg to the side, place a block just outside the hip of the raised leg. When you open your leg to the side, rest your upper thigh on the block.
- In addition to opening your raised leg to the side, you can also stretch it across your body. This provides a mild spinal twist and a stretch to the outer hips. Hold the strap in your opposite-side hand, and exhale as you extend your leg across your torso. Reach your heel to the opposite side, and then inhale to raise your leg back to center.
- If you are more flexible, you can hold onto the big toe of your raised foot, instead of using a strap. After you draw your knee into your chest, clasp your first two fingers and thumb of the same-side hand around your big toe. Keep your shoulder blades on the floor, and keep your arm on the inside of your thigh. Then, straighten your leg.
Benefits Of The Supta Padangusthasana
- It gives the thighs, hips, calves, hamstrings, and groin a good stretch.
- The knees become strong.
- The prostate gland is stimulated.
- The digestive organs are stimulated, and therefore, digestion is improved.
- Backaches, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort are eased.
- This asana assists in curing flat feet, blood pressure, and infertility.
Seated Forward Bends
If you have tight hamstrings, it may seem like they’ll never get flexible. Be patient! Practice Supta Padangusthasana every day, and be sure to modify the pose as needed. Over time, your hamstrings will relax — and so will your mind.