Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe)
In Sanskrit Supta means reclining or lying down, Pada means feet and Angustha means big toe. Therefore this asana is also known as the Reclining Big Toe. This asana can be performed as follows;
- Lie down on the floor in supine position with the legs strongly extended. If your head doesn't rest comfortably on the floor, support it on a folded blanket.
- Exhale and bend the left knee, and draw the thigh into your torso. Hug the thigh to your abdomen.
- Now press the front of the right thigh heavily to the floor, and push actively through the right heel.
- On can loop up a strap around the arch of the left foot and hold the strap in both hands.
- Inhale and straighten the knee, pressing the left heel up toward the ceiling. Walk your hands up the strap until the elbows are fully extended. Broaden the shoulder blades across your back.
- Now keeping the hands as high on the strap as possible, press the shoulder blades lightly into the floor. Widen the collarbones away from the sternum.
- Extend upwards first through the back of the left heel, and once the back of the leg between the heel and sitting bone is fully lengthened, lift through the ball of the big toe.
- Begin with the raised leg lying perpendicular to the floor. Release the head of the thigh bone more deeply into the pelvis and, as you do, draw the foot a little closer to your head, increasing the stretch on the back of the leg.
- You can hold this posture in the stretch or turn the leg outward from the hip joint, so the knee and toes look to the left. Pinning the top of the right thigh to the floor, exhale and swing the left leg out to the left and hold it a few inches off the floor. Continue the rotation of the leg. As you feel the outer thigh move away from the left side of the torso, try to bring the left feet in line with the left shoulder joint.
- Inhale to bring the leg back into vertical position. Lighten your grip on the strap as you do, so that you challenge the muscles of the inner thigh and hip to do the work.
- Hold this posture of the leg for about 1 minute, and the side position for an equal length of time.
The benefits of this asana are:
- Stretches the hips, groins, thighs, hamstrings, and the calves.
- Stimulates the prostate gland.
- Helps in improvement of digestion.
- Relieves backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort.
- Has great therapeutic value in high blood pressure, flat feet and infertility.
- Reduces the pain in lower back.
- Increases the blood circulation in hips as well as legs.
The precautionary measures that are to be followed in this asana are:
- Should not be practiced in case of suffering from back injury.
- Should not be practiced if suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Should be avoided in pregnancy and headache.
- Should also not be practiced in diarrhea.