Supta Padangusthasana

by Restorative Yoga Poses on March 5, 2011

Benefits:
This pose helps to stimulate relaxation and digestion while reducing backache, sciatica, and menstrual discomfort. It offers a deep stretch to the hips, thighs, hamstrings, groins, and calves. Also, it has reported therapeutic benefit for high blood pressure, flat feet, and infertility.

Props:
Strap, Block, Folded Blanket

Technique:
1) Position your mat with the end flush to a wall. Lie supine on the mat with both heels against the wall. Rest your head onto the folded blanket.

2) Hug the left leg into the chest and press the right heel into the wall with the leg firm.
3) Secure a strap at the arch of the left foot and hold the strap with both hands while anchoring the shoulder blades to the mat slowly begin to extent the left leg. The arms should be fully extended, collarbones relaxed away from the sternum.
4) Breathe deeply and on each exhale, slowly draw the left foot closer to the head keeping the knee extended. You should feel the stretch deepening on the back of the leg. Continue to breathe deeply and hold this position for 1-3 minutes.
5) Lower the leg, releasing the strap and rest for 1 minute before repeating on the opposite side.

Variations:
1) Try bringing the raised leg out to the side placing the thigh on a block that’s been prepositioned. This support will help to soften the inner groin.
2) You can also swing the raised leg across the torso and rest it onto a pillow, bolster or block to support the leg and feel a stretch with the supported twist.

Breath:
Breath is deep and steady while maintaining a deep yin stretch.

Contraindications:
This pose should be avoided when experiencing diarrhea or headache. Caution should be used with high blood pressure by elevating the head and neck on a folded blanket.

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