Supta Padangusthasana or reclining big toe pose is a lying down, forward bend which relies on the powerful combination of both flexibility and strength. It’s a good pose for beginners and is a regular feature in many classes.
Sanskrit Name: Supta Padangusthasana
Supta: lying down
Angustha: the big toe
How to do:
Although this pose is popular it’s still not to be taken lightly by beginners. You must still be careful to ensure no injury is developed. It’s a great pose for loosening up a stiff back and strengthening your core muscles.
Touching your big toe while in a lying down position isn't an easy feat. Many beginners and intermediate students just don’t have the core strength or flexibility to achieve it straight away. This is why modifications and props are ideal.
When you’re in the lying down position bring your knee to your chest and use a belt to wrap around the foot. Not only will this aid you in completing the pose, but it will also intensify the stretch of your leg muscles and open up your chest.
When you’ve successfully raised your leg up, and you’re moving it out sideways, make sure to keep your buttocks and thigh of the other leg flat on the floor. Don’t contort the other half of your body to accommodate the placement of the raised leg. This defeats the point of the pose and could cause strain.
If you’ve practiced it enough with a strap and feel you would like to deepen the pose naturally, you can use your fingers to grip your big toe instead. You need to have the appropriate amount of flexibility to get it right, but when you do it should feel great.
Reclining big toe pose is ideal for those suffering from back conditions such as sciatica, as it will give you some relief. It’s also helpful for menstrual discomfort, infertility and digestion issues. It’s also a proven therapy for patients with high blood pressure, although you should always use a folded up blanket under your head.
This pose isn’t recommended for people who are currently suffering from diarrhoea or severe headaches. Always consult a doctor if you’re unsure about any of your ailments.