How To Do Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, also known as Supta Padangusthasana in Sanskrit. This pose offers a deep stretch for the hamstrings and hips. While simultaneously cultivating balance and focus. It’s a powerful posture that can help unlock tension and bring about a greater sense of ease in both body and mind.

In this article, I will guide you through the steps to perform the Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose with precision and grace.

Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, I will provide helpful tips and modifications to ensure that you can safely explore this pose at your own level of comfort.


Big Toe Pose Step-by-step Instructions

Here are the step-by-step instructions to perform the pose:

  • Begin by lying on your back on your mat.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the mat, hip-width apart.
  • Bring your right knee towards your chest and interlace your fingers around the sole of your right foot.
  • Extend your right leg up towards the ceiling, keeping it straight.
  • Flex your foot and press your heel up towards the ceiling.
  • Relax your shoulders and keep your head and neck on the mat.
  • Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds, or as long as you feel comfortable.
  • To release the pose, release your right foot from your hands and bring your right knee back towards your chest.
  • Repeat the pose on the opposite side, starting with your left knee.


Here are some of the key benefits of this pose:

  1. Strengthens the Legs: This pose helps to strengthen the muscles of the legs, particularly the thighs and calves.
  2. Improves Flexibility: By stretching the hamstrings and calves, this pose can help to improve flexibility in the legs and hips.
  3. Relieves Back Pain: The pose can help to stretch and strengthen the lower back, which can help to relieve back pain.
  4. Stimulates the Prostate Gland: For men, this pose can help to stimulate the prostate gland, which can improve urinary and sexual health.
  5. Improves Digestion: The pose can also help to stimulate the abdominal organs, which can improve digestion and metabolism.
  6. Relieves Stress and Anxiety: Like many yoga poses, Supta Padangusthasana can help to calm the mind and relieve stress and anxiety.
  7. Improves Balance: By focusing on maintaining the pose, you can also improve your balance and stability.

Remember, it’s always important to perform yoga poses with proper form and alignment to avoid injury and maximize benefits. If you’re new to yoga, it may be helpful to learn this pose under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose / Canva


Before starting the exercise, it’s a good idea to warm up and stretch your muscles gently. This will help prepare your body for the deep hamstring stretch that this pose requires.

One way to do this is by incorporating some preparatory poses into your practice. For example, you can start by lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Place a strap around the ball of your right foot and extend your right leg straight up towards the ceiling. You can also try bringing your extended leg out to the side, keeping it parallel to the ground, and then slowly bring it back to center.

This will help open up the inner thigh muscles in addition to stretching the hamstring.

To deepen the stretch even further, you can cross your left ankle over your right thigh. Creating a figure four shape with your legs. Gently press against your left thigh with your left elbow or forearm. While keeping both hips grounded on the mat. Remember to breathe deeply throughout these stretches and listen to your body’s limits.

Now that you have warmed up and stretched properly, you are ready to move onto practicing. But before we dive into that section. Let me share some beginner tips that will help make this pose more accessible for you without compromising its benefits.

 Supta Padangusthasana Beginner Tips

As a beginner, imagine yourself lying on your back and gently stretching your leg towards the sky, feeling a soothing stretch in your lower body. It’s a wonderful yoga pose that can help improve flexibility and strengthen your core.

To perform this pose, here are some beginner tips to keep in mind:

Use a strap: If you have tight hamstrings or limited flexibility, it can be helpful to use a strap during this pose. Simply loop a strap around the sole of your foot and hold onto the ends with your hands. This will allow you to gradually increase the stretch without straining.

Follow step-by-step instructions: It’s important to follow proper alignment when practicing yoga poses. Begin by lying flat on your back with both legs extended. Bend one knee and bring it towards your chest. While keeping the other leg straight on the floor. Engage your core muscles to maintain stability.

Incorporate preparatory and counter poses: Before attempting the asana, warm up your body with gentle stretches. Such as supine hamstring stretches or seated forward folds. After performing this pose, it’s beneficial to counterbalance by practicing gentle twists or child’s pose.

To deepen the stretch in this pose, you may also use a belt instead of a strap for added support and stability. Remember to listen to your body throughout the practice and modify as needed.

Now let’s explore some important contraindications and precautions without compromising safety or effectiveness.

Big Toe Pose Contraindications and Precautions

When practicing the asana, it is important to be aware of any contraindications and take necessary precautions to prevent injuries.

Although this pose can provide numerous benefits such as improved flexibility in the hamstrings and hips, it may not be suitable for everyone.

Before attempting the reclining big toe pose, consult with a yoga teacher or healthcare professional if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Recent or chronic hamstring injury
  • Lower back pain or injury
  • Knee problems,
  •  Hip issues
  •  or if you are pregnant

These precautions will help you practice safely and avoid exacerbating any existing injuries or discomfort. Additionally, make sure to listen to your body throughout the practice and modify or skip the pose if it causes pain or strain.

Now let’s transition into relaxing our shoulders and neck…

Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose Supta Padangusthasana / Canva

Relaxing the Shoulders and Neck

Relax and release any tension in your shoulders and neck. Allowing yourself to fully unwind and find a sense of ease. This is an important step in preparing for the Supine Padangusthasana.

To help you relax your shoulders and neck, here are four simple tips:

  • Start by lying down on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
  • Place a strap around the arch of one foot and hold onto the ends with both hands.
  • Slowly lift your leg upward, keeping it straight and engaging the muscles in your glutes and quadriceps.
  • If you have tight hamstrings or limited flexibility, you can keep your leg slightly bent to avoid straining.

By following these steps, you will feel a gentle stretch in your hamstrings while maintaining relaxation in your upper body.

Now that we have relaxed our shoulders and neck, let’s move on to common errors to be aware of when practicing this pose.

 Hand-to-big-toe Pose Common Errors

A common mistake to avoid when practicing, is arching the lower back instead of keeping it flat on the ground. This misalignment can lead to strain and discomfort in the lower back. Taking away from the benefits of this pose.

To ensure proper alignment, start by lying on your back with your right leg straight on the ground. Then, lift your left foot and hold onto it with both hands. As you inhale, gently begin to straighten your left leg up toward the ceiling while keeping your knee slightly bent.

Another common error is allowing the top of your left thigh to lift off the ground as you extend your leg upward. This can cause unnecessary tension in the hip flexors and compromise stability in the pose.

Instead, focus on grounding through your right leg. Pressing the top of your left thigh down into the mat as you reach for your foot.

Remember to listen to your body throughout this pose and honor any limitations or sensations that arise. If you feel any discomfort or strain in your lower back or hamstrings. Modify by using a strap or towel around your foot or bending your knee slightly.

By paying attention to these common errors and making adjustments accordingly. You can safely practice Supta Padangusthasana and experience its numerous benefits for both body and mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of practicing this yoga pose?

Practicing the posture improves flexibility and strengthens the thighs, hamstrings, and groin. Did you know that regular practice can also alleviate lower back pain? It’s a liberating posture that brings freedom to your body and mind.

How can I modify Reclining Pose if I have tight hamstrings?

If you have tight hamstrings, modify the toe pose by using a strap around your foot. This will help you extend your leg while keeping it straight, allowing for a gentle stretch and avoiding strain.

Can I practice Big Toe Pose if I have lower back pain?

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, it’s best to avoid practicing this pose. Instead, focus on gentle stretches and exercises that help alleviate the pain and promote healing.

How long should I hold Reclining Pose?

Try to hold the asana for 30-60 seconds on each side. Gradually increasing the duration as you become more comfortable. Listen to your body and adjust as needed. Remember to breathe deeply and find freedom in the stillness of the pose.

Is it necessary to use a strap or towel for Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose?

No, it is not necessary to use a strap or towel. However, using a prop can help deepen the stretch and provide support if you have tight hamstrings or limited flexibility.


The Reclined Big Toe Pose, is a popular yoga pose that offers a multitude of benefits. It’s a great way to stretch tight hamstrings. Also strengthen the quadriceps, and engage the core. This pose is often taught in Iyengar yoga classes.

Where the use of props like a strap is encouraged to help maintain alignment and deepen the stretch.

In this pose, you extend your right leg upward toward the ceiling. Keeping the muscles of your extended leg and left thigh engaged.

A strap can be looped around the sole or arch of your foot to assist in keeping your right leg straight. Especially if you have tight hamstrings. The left leg can be kept bent or straight, depending on your comfort level.

The pose can be modified. By opening your right leg out to the side or drawing the leg across your body for a deeper stretch. It’s important to keep your spine long and maintain the natural curves of your body.

You can also press your left foot into the top of your left thigh to keep your left leg active.

The pose is often held for 5 breaths or longer. It’s important to listen to your body and back off a bit if the stretch becomes too intense. The pose is typically exited by bending the right knee and releasing the strap from around your foot.

The Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose is a great preparatory pose for many yoga poses. The posture can also serve as a counter pose to poses that require a lot of forward bending.

It’s a great way to stretch the hamstrings and glutes, and can also help to open up the pelvis.

As with all yoga poses, it’s recommended to learn the step-by-step instructions for this pose from a qualified yoga teacher. This can help ensure that you’re performing the pose correctly and getting the most benefit from it.

How To Do Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)