Supta Hasta Padangusthasana – Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose
Supta hasta padangusthasana is a relaxing pose that also stretches your hamstrings. It is done lying on your back with one leg extended on the ground and the other leg extended up into the air. The traditional variation of the pose is done by hooking your peace fingers to your big toe and extending your leg toward the sky. However, I find that in our society, the average persons’ hamstrings are actually rather tight, so if they were to grab their big toe and fully extend their leg, they either wouldn’t be able to, it would be very painful, and/or it would really pull on your back muscles and this person wouldn’t be able to res their head comfortably on the ground. So if this is the case, the pose can be modified with or without a prop. With a prop, the person would use a straight and place it over the ball of their foot as they extend their leg toward straight, they could hold onto the strap at a comfortable spot for their body’s needs. Without a prop, I would suggest to interlace their fingers behind their thigh (closer down toward their hip rather than toward their knee). The benefit of placing hands closer down toward the hips is that you push your leg into your hands and pull your hands into your leg, this stabilizes your hamstring insertion and grounds your hip allowing you to lengthen your leg to the best of your ability in a safe way. I feel that this pose is truly accessible to anyone no matter how tight their hamstrings AND it benefits everyone no matter how flexible their are! The versatility of this pose is one of the many reasons that I LOVE it so much!