Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 16 of 20

Reclining Leg Stretch
Also called Reclining Hamstring Stretch
Sanskrit Name: Supta Padangushtasana
Supta = supine
Pada = foot
Angustha = big toe

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Yoga for Beginners Intro – Part 16: Reclining Leg Stretch

Also called Reclining Hamstring Stretch
Sanskrit Name: Supta Padangushtasana
Supta = supine
Pada = foot
Angustha = big toe

Benefits:

  • Best posture for stretching the hamstring muscles while keeping the back safe; the floor supports the back as the hamstrings stretch
  • Removes stiffness from the hips
  • Releases the low back
  • Increases circulation to the legs and hips

Points:

  • Extend upwards through the top leg and foot
  • Hips stay grounded (do not press the lower back into the floor and lift the hips in order to straighten the leg; keep the hips grounded and only straighten the leg as much as you comfortably can from that position)
  • Keep the shoulders, neck and jaw relaxed as you reach up towards the foot
  • Stay present with the breath and the sensation in the body
  • Be patient yet consistent in lengthening the hamstring muscles

Modification:

  • Eventually in this pose you grab the big toe with the hand of the same side. In the beginning when the back of the legs (hamstrings) are tight as they are for most beginners you can: 1).use a strap around the top foot or interlace hands around the thigh and 2).keep the bottom leg bent
  • As you get more flexible and the top leg moves towards straight then start to work with the bottom leg: extend it out and engage the bottom leg by flexing the foot and press the back of the thigh towards the ground

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