[Pose Of the Week] Extended Supine Hand-to-Toe Pose
Stretch your hamstrings, open your hips, strengthen your core and more with Extended Supine Hand-to-Toe Pose!
Extended Supine Hand-to-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana B) – also known as Reclining Big Toe Pose B or Sleeping Big Toe Pose B – is a great stretch for the groin muscles, inner thighs, and hamstrings.
This pose is a variation of Reclined Hand-to-Big Toe Pose, but it provides a more intense stretch for the inner thighs and hips, while also providing additional core strengthening benefits. This pose is also believed to reduce stress, teach humility and patience, and improve emotional stability through opening the Sacral chakra.
To modify the pose, you may wish to wrap a yoga strap around the ball of the extended foot and hold onto this instead of the big toe. Those with hip or knee injuries should use special caution or skip this one.
How to Do Extended Supine Hand-to-Toe Pose:
Lie on your back with your legs bent, both feet flat on the floor. Bring the right knee towards you, grasp the knee with both hands and gently pull it towards your chest. Stay here for several breaths.
Slide the sole of your left foot along the floor until the leg is straight, with the foot flexed and toes pointed at the ceiling.
Straighten your right leg above your head and grasp the leg or foot with both hands. If you can’t reach your foot, use a strap to stretch the gap, or hold your ankle, calf, or thigh.
Press the right leg completely straight, tighten the quadriceps and raise the heel toward the ceiling. Then spread your toes and press the ball of the big toe away from you so that the leg line turns slightly inward and is directed outward in the direction the foot is pointing. As you do this, press the sacrum firmly into the floor and gently pull the leg toward you, flattening the shoulder blades and rounding your chest. Breathe smoothly. Wait for the stretch sensations to subside before proceeding. Stay here for several breaths.
Release the left hand, hold onto your big toe (or yoga strap) with your right hand, and slowly let your right leg begin to fall open to the right. Stretch your left arm out perpendicular to your body, palm down on the floor, to counterbalance the weight of the leg. Alternatively, you can also keep the hand pressing down on the top of the left leg to remind yourself to keep the hip on the floor.
The tendency here is to lean to the right in an effort to touch the right foot to the floor. Instead, keep the sacrum pressed flat on the floor and move the foot only as far as it can go without bending the leg or lifting the left side off the floor. Do not allow the right foot to touch the floor until you are also able to keep the sacrum flat. Prevent tipping by activating the muscles of the left leg, pointing the toes of the left foot, and pressing the back of the left thigh down into the floor.
Keep your gaze to the sky and breathe deeply and comfortably. Stay here for anywhere from thirty seconds to two minutes.
To release the pose, slowly bring your right leg back up to center, release the stretch, and bring both knees into the chest. Hug them to your body for a moment, then slide the right foot away from you on the floor and repeat Steps 3-6 with the left leg.
Learn more at FitzAbout.com or watch a demo here.