Yoga Poses

3 Ways to Modify Reclining Hand-to-Big Toe Pose

Modify Supta Padangusthasana as necessary to find safe alignment in your body.

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If you’re unable to straighten your top leg due to tight hamstrings …


Try using a strap around the arch of your top foot. Hold the strap in each hand, and move your leg away from your chest until you can straighten your leg. A straight leg will most effectively stretch your hamstring, so there is no shame in using a strap.

See also 10 Creative Ways to Use Props in Your Practice

If your lower back feels uncomfortable or it’s challenging to maintain a lumbar curve …


Try bending your bottom leg and planting the sole of your foot on the mat near your sitting bone. This should help you maintain a good lumbar curve and free you up to move the top leg more easily.

See also 3 Ways to Modify Fish Pose for Joy + Contentment

If you feel strain in your neck or it’s hard to keep your head in a neutral position …


Try placing a folded towel or blanket under your head at a height that feels comfortable and allows your chin to rest in a neutral position (not tucked in, and not lifted away from your throat).

See also Try This: New Line of Innovative Yoga Props

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About Our Pro
Model and teacher Amy Ippoliti aims to bring ancient wisdom to modern yogis, both on and off the mat, while sharing her passion for earth conservation. A pioneer of yoga education, she co-founded 90 Monkeys, an online and in-person school for yoga teachers. Ippoliti has been studying yoga philosophy, vinyasa, and alignment-based asana since she was 16, and she leads trainings and workshops worldwide. Learn more at and @amyippoliti.