Right now the pose I can’t get enough of is Supta Padangustasana II, also known as reclining big toe pose, shown to the left. To begin, lie on you back and use your inhalation to bring your right leg perpendicular to the floor. This pose can performed with or without a strap depending on your flexibility. If using a strap place it around the sole of your foot (or if bike touring, use a belt, rope or bungee cord) or grab your right big toe and fully extend your leg. Pause and breathe into the back of your leg. Hamstrings open slowly, so honor the time they need. Keeping your left heel grounded to the mat and your left arm extended out to the left, slowly open your right leg out to the right. Breathe. Keep your right leg straight and fully extended. According to B.K.S. Iyengar in Light on Yoga this pose offers many benefits to your legs:
The legs will develop properly by the practice of this asana. Persons suffering from sciatica and paralysis of the legs will derive great benefit from it. The blood is made to circulate in the legs and hips where the nerves are rejuvenated. The pose removes stiffness in the hip joints and prevents hernia.
When complete with Supta Padangustasana II, use your core strength to bring your right leg perpendicular to the floor. Grab your strap with your left hand, or if you are super bendy your left hand, as you slowly twist your right leg over to the left. Let your gaze fall to the right, finding a detoxifying twist. Move with your breath. Each inhale invite length into your spine and each exhale deepen your twist. Take your time. Work with both shoulders rooted into the ground. This twist not only feels great for you legs and IT band but also in your low back.
Hey Cyclists, don’t forget that you can get more yoga for cyclists this weekend at the YoCycle ride this Sunday Sept 18th. We are meeting at 10am by Richard Serra’s Wake located in the sculpture park to start the day of with some artfully inspired yoga and then ride to Golden Gardens and back.