How To Do The Supta Padangusthasana And What Are Its Benefits June 14, 2016

Supta Padangusthasana also known as Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose is an asana. Supta – Reclining, Pada – Foot, Angusta – Big Toe, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As – soup-TAH pod-ang-goosh-TAHS-anna

This asana gives you an incredible stretch, so much that it opens up your legs fully. It is also said to improve both your overall physical and mental health. Many people end up practicing this asana as a stretch without even knowing the name of the asana, but this pose has a lot to offer.

Everything You Need To Know About The Supta Padangusthasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Padangusthasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tip
  5. Advanced Pose Variation
  6. The Benefits Of The Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe-Pose
  7. The Science Behind The Padangusthasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Basic
Style: Iyengar Yoga
Duration: 30 seconds
Repetition: Once on each leg
Stretches: Hips, Thighs, Hamstrings, Calves, Groin
Strengthens: Knees

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How To Do The Padangusthasana

1. Lie down on your back with your legs stretched out and feet flexed. Press your feet through your heels.

2. Exhale. Pull your right knee towards your chest, and loop a strap around the arch of the right foot. If you are a seasoned yoga practitioner, use two fingers and hook them onto the big toe.

3. Now, straighten and stretch your right leg up to the ceiling, such that your arms are straight, and your shoulders are pressing the floor.

4. Keep pushing and extending your left leg, pressing the top of your left thigh down with the left hand. The extension of the right leg must create a comfortable stretch in the back of the leg.

5. You could either hold the pose here or turn the right leg out, bringing that leg down on your right side. But if you do this, you must ensure your left hip is grounded on the floor.

6. Hold each variation for as long as you are comfortable, and then repeat the asana with the left leg on top.

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Precautions And Contraindications

These are a few points of caution you must keep in mind before you do this asana.

  1. Avoid doing this asana if you have a headache or diarrhea.
  1. If you have blood pressure, raise your head and neck using a folded blanket, and then practice the asana.

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Beginner’s Tips

As a beginner, you must practice this asana with the heel of the bottom leg pressed against a wall. But if your body is still too stiff, you can place a block under the hip of the raised leg (the support under the thigh softens the inner groin), and then, when you bring your leg on the side, you can rest it on the block.

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Advanced Pose Variations

If you can use your fingers instead of a strap to hold your toes and do the asana, it is the advanced version of this pose. This comes with intense practice and perseverance.

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The Benefits Of The Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe-Pose

These are some amazing benefits of Supta Padangusthasana.

  1. It gives the thighs, hips, calves, hamstrings, and groin a good stretch.
  1. The knees become strong.
  1. The prostate gland is stimulated.
  1. The digestive organs are stimulated, and therefore, digestion is improved.
  1. Backaches, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort are eased.
  1. This asana assists in curing flat feet, blood pressure, and infertility.

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The Science Behind The Supta Padangusthasana

Apart from very simply working on your physical being, this asana lets you explore your consciousness as well. The consciousness has three factors – the mind or manas, the ego or ahamkara, the intelligence or buddhi. The ego usually dominates what we see and know, and therefore, dominates the awareness. So, when you practice the pose, you will notice that your attention is diverted to the raised leg, and the leg on the floor is not in the scheme of things. It might seem that all the action is happening in the raised leg, but in fact, you are also benefitted from the right extension of the leg that is on the floor, and more so by the interplay between both the legs. Your ego might be more than happy to be able to hold your toes and stretch the top leg. But you must allow the intelligence of the lower leg to make that decision as to how far you must stretch out your raised leg. This will not only be safer, but also more beneficial to your back, hips, and legs. What’s more? Well, a great awareness of the connection between your mind and your body.

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Preparatory Poses

Adho Mukha Svanasana
Baddha Konasana
Uttanasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Standing Poses
Seated Forward Bends

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Now that you know how to do Supta Padangusthasana, what are you waiting for? It might look simple, but this asana works in a union at all times, between both your legs, and between your mind and body – just like how it should be when we go about doing things in the day. Allow this asana instill the ability to co-exist and work in unison with the different parts of your being and with the world around you.

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