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Reclining Big Toe Pose

Supta Padangusthasana

HP_220_SuptaPadagusthasana_248.jpg

(soup-TAH pod-ang-goosh-TAHS-anna)
supta = lying down, reclining
pada = foot
angusta = big toe

Step by Step

Lie supine on the floor, legs strongly extended. If your head doesn't rest comfortably on the floor, support it on a folded blanket. Exhale, bend the left knee, and draw the thigh into your torso. Hug the thigh to your belly. Press the front of the right thigh heavily to the floor, and push actively through the right heel.

Loop a strap around the arch of the left foot and hold the strap in both hands. Inhale and straighten the knee, pressing the left heel up toward the ceiling. Walk your hands up the strap until the elbows are fully extended. Broaden the shoulder blades across your back. Keeping the hands as high on the strap as possible, press the shoulder blades lightly into the floor. Widen the collarbones away from the sternum.

Extend up first through the back of the left heel, and once the back of the leg between the heel and sitting bone is fully lengthened, lift through the ball of the big toe. Begin with the raised leg perpendicular to the floor. Release the head of the thigh bone more deeply into the pelvis and, as you do, draw the foot a little closer to your head, increasing the stretch on the back of the leg.

You can stay here in this stretch, or turn the leg outward from the hip joint, so the knee and toes look to the left. Pinning the top of the right thigh to the floor, exhale and swing the left leg out to the left and hold it a few inches off the floor. Continue rotating the leg. As you feel the outer thigh move away from the left side of the torso, try to bring the left foot in line with the left shoulder joint. Inhale to bring the leg back to vertical. Lighten your grip on the strap as you do, so that you challenge the muscles of the inner thigh and hip to do the work.

Hold the vertical position of the leg anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes, and the side position for an equal length of time. Once you have returned to vertical release the strap, hold the leg in place for 30 seconds or so, then slowly release as you exhale. Repeat on the right for the same length of time.


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Reader Comments

Karra

I was so confused until I realized the word were opposite of the picture. I'm a very visual person so would love to see more pics that match the description.

Gina

Everyone is different! For me I need to stretch my Siactica nerve to release tension! The muscles around the Siactica are usually to blame for nerve inflammation. I always tell clients listen to your body! You know more than anyone about your own body! Namaste

dcm

Bravo Lesley Dike, you are absolutely correct .
Muscles need stretching.
INFLAMED NERVES DO NOT .
I was living and practicing yoga with sciatica pain, and finally one intelligent doctor told me NOT to stretch my nerve.

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