Monday, August 16, 2010

Yoga Pose of the Week: Reclining Hand to Big Toe Pose 8-16-10

The pose I selected this week is Supta padangusthasana, or reclining hand to big toe pose. This is a great pose for low back pain. It can relieve compression and tension in the back. I also like this pose because it allows you to stretch your hamstrings while on the floor without stressing the vertebrae. This pose also helps balance asymmetries along the back. We all have dominant sides and this pose can help balance the tightness that may exist on one side of the back. If you have tight hamstrings a strap can be used. Variations of this pose are extending the leg across the body for a nice twist or abducting the top leg to the side of the body to stretch the adductors. Don't forget about the bottom leg in this pose. Think about reaching both sides of the hip into the earth and reaching out through the bottom heel to ground the pose. The pose is not only about stretching the top leg.

Here are some other benefits from practicing this pose:
-alleviates stiffness in lower back
-stretches hamstrings, calves and inner thighs
-relieves arthritis pain in hips and knees
-aligns pelvis
-helps recovery from a cardiac condition
-prevents hernia
-relieves sciatic pain
-helps relieve menstrual discomfort
-improves digestion
-stimulates the prostate gland

Note: If you have high blood pressure, place a blanket under your head.
Do not practice this pose if you have a headache.
Check out the link above to find out how to get into the pose.

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