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Shammi's Yogalaya

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Supta Padanghusthasana Variation

Method

Step 1: Lie down on your back; adjust your lower back by pushing your hips and tailbone towards your heels so that lower back is firmly resting on the floor without any gap or arch.

Step 2: Exhale and press your lower back on the floor; raise your right leg up and bring it perpendicular to the floor; left leg is resting on the floor.

Step 3: You may use a belt or a strap to hold the right leg in place; hold for a minute or two with normal breathing.

Step 4: Rest your left arm on the floor sideways to the left; hold the right toe with your left hand. Keep moving your right leg to the left side of your body so that your left elbow is on the floor and left forearm is perpendicular to the floor. Your head has moved to the right. Keep pushing your right leg up and close to your head. 

Note: Slowly keep flexing your toes in and stretch your heel out to optimize the stretch at the back of the leg. Make sure you keep your hips and back releasing into the floor so that you do not strain your lower back.

Benefits

  • For Runners, cyclists, hikers, and in soccer, basketball, and tennis players
  • Apart from the above mentioned benefits, you also get a good blood flow to your legs, hips and lower back thereby reducing any lower back pain and at the same time strengthening it. Regular practice of this posture helps improve varicose veins and the health of your knees, brings great stretch in your groin & calves and thus helps control sciatica. You can also feel a great involvement and stretch of gluteus maximus while turning your raised leg to the opposite side.
  • Stretching one leg at a time with support and holding the stretch will give you enough time to understand the sensation and involvement of each muscle. As a runner, you do need certain level of tightness in your hamstrings but too much tension is bound to lead to a host of problems like back pain, hip pain or pain in the lower leg.
  • Stretching with Supta Padanghusthasana brings great freedom to the back, pelvis, outer hips and helps you run better. As you are lying down on the floor, your back is not forced to bear the weight of your torso and as you get your leg up, gravity will help you stretch your hamstring while at the same time allowing you to use your muscles by slightly engaging it during the movement.
  • Back Pain & Knee Pain: This variation of Supta Padanghusthasana helps relieve back pain and knee pain.
  • Thyroid / Neck Stretch: Turning your neck to one side in this posture helps strengthen neck muscles and at the same time removes stiffness from the neck. It also helps massage your thyroid and parathyroid gland.

Contraindications

  • Avoid in case of severe BACK PAIN.
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