Welcome to Day Eighteen. Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose. Supta Utthita Hasta Padangustasana.
I know, right? When I first started practicing yoga, I made a point of mastering Utthita Hasta Padangustasana just because I loved the name so much.
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose is an excellent pose for relieving low-back pain. It helps relieve sciatica and menstrual cramps. It stretches the hamstrings and the calves and strengthens the knees. Use a strap, if your hamstrings are tight.
Practice Days 1-17 of our challenge, before lying down into Savasana, move into Supta Utthita Hasta Padangustasana in this way:

  • Lie down on your back
  • Find length through your entire body
  • Inhale, bring your right leg up to 90 degrees (or as far as is comfortable)
  • Keep your left leg engaged, straight, and pressing into the mat (if tenderness in your low back prevents such a stretch, bend your left leg and press the sole of your left foot into the mat)
  • Flex both feet
  • Interlace your fingers behind your right thigh
  • Press your leg firmly into your hands
  • Keep your shoulders and your head pressing into the mat
  • Hold for several breaths
  • Release for the second side

Here is today’s complete practice:

  • Take a comfortable seat
  • Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
  • Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
  • Notice deeply
  • Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
  • Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
  • Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
  • Come to Child’s pose, enjoy the effects of Kapalabhati
  • Come up to Table, then move with breath:  Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
    Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
  • Balancing Table (both sides)
  • Lower arm/leg back to Table
  • Exhale as you Push back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Inhale, Step forward to Standing Forward Fold
  • Exhale here
  • Inhale up to Tadasana, Mountain Pose
  • Sun Salutation (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Close your eyes, bring your hands together in Prayer Pose, Anjali Mudra, at the center of your chest
  • Breathe
  • Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold
  • Sun Breaths
  • Step back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Lunge (right foot back)
  • Runner’s Stretch over left leg
  • Lunge (left foot back)
  • Runner’s Stretch right leg
  • Step back to Downward-Facing Dog
  • Lower down to Child’s Pose
  • Step to Tadasana at the front of your mat
  • Vira II (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Pyramid (both sides)
  • Step back to Tadasana
  • Revolved Twist (both sides)
  • Step back to Downward-Facing Dog
  • Lower down to Dandasana
  • Release into Sukhasana
  • Twist
  • Come back to Sukhasana for a few breaths
  • Supta Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (both sides)
  • Lie back into Savasana
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