Reclining Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe pose with Yoga strap can be done by:
1. Begin by lying down. There should be a slight, natural arch in the lower back.
2. Bend the right knee and lift the leg enough to bring the strap around the sole of the foot.
3. Flex the foot, making sure the second toe lines up with the middle of the ankle crease.
4. Hold one strap end in each hand and extend the leg.
5. The left leg is straight along the floor. The foot is flexed with the toes facing up towards the sky. Press the leg down into the floor.
6. Hug the muscles to the bones in the legs.
7. Move the hands upwards along the strap to deepen the stretch, drawing the leg closer towards the face.
8. Repeat on the other side.
In yoga, the Reclining Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose is a variation of the classic Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana). The reclining version is often more accessible for people with limited flexibility or those who are beginners in their yoga practice. However, if you find this pose challenging or have certain physical limitations, there are alternative options to achieve similar benefits. Here are some options and alternatives:
Reclining Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana): This is the reclining version of the pose, where you lie on your back and extend one leg upward while holding the big toe with your hand. The other leg remains extended on the ground.
Using a Strap: If you cannot reach your big toe comfortably in the reclining version, you can use a yoga strap or a belt. Loop the strap around the sole of your foot and hold onto the ends of the strap with your hands. This allows you to extend your leg without straining or overstretching.
Wall Support: Perform the Reclining Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose near a wall. Extend your leg upward and place the sole of your foot against the wall. The wall will provide support, making it easier to keep your leg extended.
Bent Knee Variation: If you have tight hamstrings, bending the extended leg slightly can make the pose more accessible. Keep the knee slightly bent while holding the big toe or strap.
One-Legged Reclining Pigeon Pose: Lie on your back and bend one knee towards your chest. Cross the ankle of the bent leg over the opposite knee and hold the back of the thigh or shin of the bent leg. This pose provides a stretch for the hip and the hamstrings.
Supine Hamstring Stretch: Lie on your back and use a strap or a yoga band to loop around your foot. Keeping both legs straight, gently pull the strap to bring your leg closer to your chest, stretching the hamstring.
Remember, it's essential to listen to your body and not force yourself into any position that causes pain or discomfort. Always warm up properly before attempting any deep stretches, and if you're new to yoga or have any health concerns or injuries, consider consulting a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional for guidance tailored to your specific needs.
Read the following cautions to stay safe:
• Be careful not to lock the knee with the leg that is lifted. Have a tiny bend in the knee if needed.
• Never push too far in a pose. Find your edge, but don't move past it. You should feel the pose working in the body, but still be able to breathe deeply and find some ease in the pose.
• If you are concerned about anything with this pose, please consult a physician about whether this practice is good for you.