November Pose of the Month
Supta Padangusthasana - Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose
Supta (Reclined) - Pada (Hand) - Gustha (Big Toe) - Asana (Pose)
The winter months call for a slower more grounding yoga practice. The longer darker evenings bring a desire to be still and steady and is the perfect opportunity to spend a little bit more time in postures and investigate what is going on in your body as a whole.
Supta Padangusthasana is a really nice way to start or finish a practice. I particularly like it at the start of a practice during winter because it settles the mind and the body. The intensity of the hamstring stretch instantly distracts your mind from your busy day and once you get over the initial sensation of the stretch you can begin to bring your awareness to the other parts of your body. One of the things that I love about Supta Padangusthasana is that it teaches us to move away from the drama that is happening in the lifted leg and begin to draw your attention to grounding and finding stability of the lower leg and hip, as well as bringing softness to the head and shoulders by relaxing them into the floor.
By doing Supta Padangusthasana at the beginning of practice and tuning in to the more subtle actions of the pose, it is easier to continue to focus on the less dramatic or intense aspect of the pose throughout the practice ...the more we practice drawing the awareness away from the intensity of the stretch in the physical body the more we can begin to not engage in unnecessary drama while we are off the mat.
ENERGETIC AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS
Helps improve focus
Calming to the mind and body
Stretches hip, hamstrings, calves and groin
Stimulates the digestive system
Improves circulation to pelvic region, helping to support the prostate and reproductive organs
Relieves back ache
CAN BE HELPFUL FOR
CAUTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS
High Blood Pressure (If you do have high blood pressure place a blanket or low block under your head)
Menstruation in variations A and C (it may feel uncomfortable, B is very beneficial so you can this instead)
HINTS AND TIPS
As always belts and blocks are useful
If you can't hold on to your big toe without lifting the shoulders of the floor use a belt
Placing a block beside the hip of the lifted leg can help to keep the pelvis level as the leg goes out to the side
If your lower back or pelvis feels sore or uncomfortable bend the bottom leg or you can raise the bottom foot onto a block.
Health and Happiness