Pyramid Pose
March 28, 2015
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
March 28, 2015

Reclining Big Toe Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Supta Padangusthasana
(soop-TAH pad-an-goosh-TAHS-anah)
supta = supine, reclined
hasta = hand
pada = foot
angusta = big toe

BENEFITS

  • Lengthens the hamstring of the extended leg
  • Stabilizes the hip joint of the grounded leg
  • Improves hamstring flexibility
  • Strengthens the quads and hip flexors of the extended leg; hamstrings and glute of the grounded leg
  • Relieves low back pain, sciatica, and high blood pressure
  • Stimulates the prostate gland and digestion

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Hip pathologies
  • Limited hip range of motion
  • Low back pathologies (avoid rounding)
  • Ankle, knee, or shoulder injury
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

HOW TO

  1. Gently recline onto your back.
  2. Inhale and lift your right knee toward your chest. Reach for the inside of your big toe only if you are able to maintain a neutral spine.
  3. Exhale and draw your left toes toward your shin to flex the foot. Squeeze your left knee down to the mat.
  4. As you inhale, extend your knee by engaging your quadriceps and pressing the heel upward. Allow your leg to lengthen toward the ceiling.
  5. Exhale and draw your shoulders down to ground into the mat.
  6. Hold this pose for 5-10 slow breaths.
  7. To exit, inhale and release the toe, but keep the leg extended. With an exhalation, release your arm and extended leg to the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

  • Feel free to bend the knee of the resting leg. To support the lifted leg, place your hand behind the thigh as you extend your knee.
  • Wrap a strap or a towel around the base of the foot to extend the knee and lengthen the hamstrings.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

  • Parivrtta Supta Padangusthasana (Revolved Reclining Big Toe pose)
  • Pavanamuktasana (Knees to Chest pose)

TEACHING CUES

  • Reach for the inside of the big toe with your first two fingers.
  • Keep the sacrum grounded into your mat.
  • Draw your knee toward your chest, reach for the inside of the big toe, and extend through the heel.
  • On each inhalation, feel your chest lift and spine lengthen. On each exhalation, draw your leg closer to your torso.

VARIATIONS

  • Supta Padangusthasana B (Reclining Big Toe pose with leg opens to the side)

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Pain/strain in the shoulders, knees, hips, or low spine
  • Upper or lower back lifting off the floor