Yoga Poses

Reclining Big Toe /Supta Padangusthasana

Steps

This yoga posture is great for relieving low back pain, hamstring tension, and circulation in the legs and hips.  Although the posture looks easy, students should take care not to use extreme force in moving the leg towards the chest, but expect to engage the hamstring and other muscles and joints.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

In a supine position, both legs are energized; keep the heels firmly planted on the mat, and knees contracted. Slowly lift the left leg, grab the left big toe with the index finger and thumb. Hold firmly to the toe and straighten the leg. Rotate the right thigh inward. Keep the right leg and foot straight and press them into the mat; use the right hand to keep the leg and foot straight.

Technical Comments

While lying on the back, inhale and raise the leg. Exhale and lift the head and torso off the mat while pulling them towards the raised leg. Inhale lower head and torso back to the mat. Hold each leg for 20 – 30 seconds, while taking 3 to 4 deep breaths.

Benefit Comments

  • Strengthen thighs and core muscles
  • Opens the chest
  • Improves sciatica and paralysis in the legs
  • Improves blood circulation in the hip joints
  • Relieve back pain
  • Prevents hernia

Watch Out For:

  • De-energized leg muscles
  • Breathing is not smooth and even
  • Inner thighs not rotated properly

Contraindications

  • High blood pressure (use a folded mat or blanket to raise head and neck)
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Migraines

Modifications

  • Use a strap around the raised foot to pull the leg closer
  • Use a block to support the straight leg and rest the heel of the foot on
  • Bend the opposite knee while pulling the straight leg closer
  • Place a pillow or blanket under the student's head
  • Use two hands to hold the foot and gently pull the leg closer to the chest

Variations

If there is tightness in the hamstring then lie down with the back body firmly pressing the mat, rotate leg and head to one side, while extending the opposite leg

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Side Reclining Leg Lift - Anantasana
  • Gate - Parighasana
  • Extended Triangle - Utthita Trikonasana

Written By: Minta Davis

Minta Davis is a certified yoga teacher, and enjoys sharing information and practicing yoga with her students from various age groups and capabilities. Please visit her website at http://www.yogarising.info/for more information.

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