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Supta Padangustasana

Supta Padangustasana

Supine Big Toe Pose

The above image shows me adjusting Jane in a lying-down leg stretch. The physical adjustment is designed to bring awareness when the raised leg is not fully straightening. Sometimes we think we are straight, but don’t actually get there completely.

When you do it on your own, if you have a more supple body, you grab hold of your big toe with your fingers. If you’re not flexible, use a belt wrapped around the sole of your foot, holding it with both hands.

The pose gives an intense stretch to your calves and hamstrings. It also increases blood circulation in the legs, tones the pelvis and opens the chest the pull of you arms. There are a few variations for the legs in this pose. Two basic versions are: 2) raise your leg perpendicular to the floor (Supta Padangusthasana I) and, 2) take your leg out to the side (Supt Padangusthasana II).

In both versions, keep your upper back and pelvis evenly and firmly on the mat. 

Benefits of Supta Padangusthasana

  • removes stiffness in the lower back and backache by helping to align the pelvic area
  • helps to treat osteoarthritis of the hip and the knees by stretching hamstrings and calf muscles while strengthening the knees
  • strengthens the hip joint
  • relieves sciatic pain
  • helps to relieve menstrual discomfort

For information about where to place supta padangusthasana in yoga sequences, click here.