9 Benefits of Supta Padongusthasana with Safety Precautions

Supta Padongusthasana – Reclining Big Toe Posture 

What is Supta Padongusthasana?

Supta Padongusthasana is a supine asana, that has a whole lot of benefits. The asana or pose is a great way to stretch the hamstrings and calves. Moreover, the spine also gets engaged without getting hurt. Moreover, there is less tension in the back and leg muscles. It is an essential and beneficial stretch for runners. Supta Padongusthasana is a great pose, which improves the core muscle strength, and also brings fresh blood supply toward the hips. It is mainly considered as a base pose for the higher advanced variations. 

Supta Padongusthasana

The Supta Padongusthasana or pose is an intermediate level asana, whose name has been derived from Sanskrit verses. You can find the meaning of the name as given below. 

‘Supta Pada Angustha Asana’

  • ‘Supta’ means ‘supine or recline’, 
  • ‘Pada’ means ‘foot’
  • ‘Angustha’ means ‘big toe’ 
  • ‘Asana’ means ‘posture’

It is a part of the Ashtanga Primary series. This is one of the best poses, that athletes should practice on a daily basis. 

How To Do The Supta Padongusthasana?

  • You can do Supta Padongusthasana quite comfortably. Lie down on the back, with both your legs outstretched.
  • Now, you have to bring the right leg into close contact with the chest. Hug it, by bending the right knee. 
  • Slowly, straighten your right leg towards the ceiling, while holding the big toe with your hands. Your leg can be folded at the knee at first. 
  • While doing the Supta Padongusthasana or pose, you should ensure to distribute the weight of the body on both buttocks. 
  • Keep your left leg fixed on the ground. 
  • You can hold the pose for 5 breaths. 
  • To come out of the position, bring your right leg close to the chest, by folding at the knees. Bring the left leg close to it, and keep it in the same position for some time. 
  • Then you can repeat the same sequence with the left leg. 
  • You can do this asana or pose, alternately with both legs. 

Modifications and Variations

You can try out the pose or asana, in other ways. 

  • It is possible to do the pose, with the help of a pillow or a folded blanket under the head or neck. 
  • You can also keep the leg on the floor, in folded condition, with the feet firmly planted on the ground. 
  • Moreover, you need not worry, if your perpendicular leg is not fully straight. 
  • You can use yoga straps, around the sole of the raised leg, so that you can hold the two ends of the strap with both hands, to keep the leg straight. 
  • You can also try another option, if you feel stiffness in your body parts. You can press the lowered leg firmly on a wall, for added support. It will also provide you the strength to straighten the raised leg properly. You can also use a yoga block for the same. 

You can choose to follow a dynamic motion, with each leg moving up and down alternately. It will build the core strength and also strength in the legs. 

You can also try crossing the lowered leg across the body, for added stretch. It will help in opening up the hip area. 

You should breathe normally. Inhale when you lift the leg. Stay for 5 breaths in the final pose. Your gaze should be towards the raised leg or Padagraye Drishti.

Safety Precautions Decoded

You should avoid a few mistakes while doing the Supta Padongusthasana or you will end up getting hurt. Avoiding the errors will help you to do the asana in the best manner possible. 

  • When you lift your leg, keep in mind, that you must keep the hips firmly planted on the ground. Both hips and buttocks must be firmly fixed to the ground, and must exert equal pressure. 
  • The leg that rests on the mat, can rotate a bit or can be raised slightly. But you can refrain from doing so, by putting added pressure on it. 

Who Can Do Supta Padongusthasana and Who Cannot?

  • You should avoid doing the Supta Padongusthasana or pose, if you ever injured the hamstrings and the quads. This mainly applies to athletes who face such situations on a regular basis. Any kind of practice will lead to a deep extension, which may stop or slow the healing process. 
  • If you have weak legs and hips, then you must ensure to avoid this practice. You can ask your yoga teacher or the peers, to aid you in the pose. 
  • If you have any sort of injury in the shoulders or have recently undergone a surgery, you must not do this asana. 
  • One should avoid doing this asana or pose in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. 

Benefits of Supta Padongusthasana

  • The regular practice of Supta Padongusthasana or pose can positively stimulate the reproductive system. The alternate movement of the legs in the dynamic version, leads to a gentle massage on the abdomen and pelvic region. It also leads to better blood circulation to the reproductive organs. 
  • It also keeps the rectum and the urinary bladder in top condition. The asana or pose creates pressure on the tail bone and the sacrum. The muscles around these organs also undergo expansion and contraction. Thus, improving the functioning of the rectum and the urinary bladder. 
  • Body awareness is extremely essential in this asana. If you are a beginner, you may not be able to do justice to this aspect. However, advanced practitioners can utilize it to the fullest. 
  • If you practice this asana or pose regularly, it will strengthen the hamstrings and the quadricep muscles. 
  • This asana or pose can also help in curing sciatic pain. 
  • The regular practice of this asana, can help you to control your blood pressure, infertility issues and constipation as well.
  • This is one of the best asanas for athletes. They can develop their hamstrings and quadriceps, by practicing this asana on a regular basis. 
  • You have to pull the abdomen in, and tighten the core muscles, so this asana also helps in the development of the core. 
  • Your body will gain in terms of overall flexibility, through the regular practice of this asana. 
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