"MedicalWebPage", "FAQPage"

Get insightful and

helpful tips to treat

your symptoms for FREE

Want an ad free reading experience?

Download PharmEasy App

Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave your comment here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Benefits of Supta Padangusthasana and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction: 

Yoga, which originated in India thousands of years ago, has gained an alarming awareness among people as an effective method for improving quality of life and overall health. Popularly, yoga is considered to be a practice of yoga postures called asanas and breathing techniques called pranayamas. The Grahanda Samhita, an ancient Indian text, suggests there are nearly 84 lakh asanas, out of which only a few are popular. Such rich ancient texts have given India global recognition. In Indian religions, yoga is considered to be a method that may help in attaining “moksha” or liberation. Done with whatever objective, yoga asanas always have benefitted yogis physically, mentally and spiritually. In this blog, we will learn how to do supta padangusthasana and discuss its health benefits.1 

What is Supta Padangusthasana? 

Supta padangusthasana is reclining posture yoga done by lying on the floor and raising your legs; the name comes from Sanskrit words, “supta” meaning lying down, “pada” means foot, “angustha” means big toe and “asana” means yoga posture. In English, this pose is called the reclining hand-to-big-toe pose yoga. This asana is practised in three movements, also referred to as supta padangusthasana I, II, III or a, b and c.2 

supta padangusthasana

How to do it? 

Supta padangusthasana must be done correctly for maximum health benefits. One may perform Supta padangusthasana in the following manner: 

  • First, lie flat on your back and stretch both legs straight. The knees should be tight and firm on the ground. 
  • Next, take a deep breath and raise your right leg in the air. You can try to stretch your leg as much as you can but avoid overstretching. 
  • The other leg (left leg) will remain on the floor in a relaxed position; place your left hand on the left thigh. 
  • Now, raise the right hand and up and try to catch the right leg toe with it. Hold this position for three/four breaths. 
  • Breathe out and slowly raise your head and upper body from the floor, bend the right hand at the elbow and pull your right leg towards the head without bending the knee. 
  • Try to rest your chin on the right knee and hold this position for about twenty seconds. Keep the other leg straight on the floor and breathe normally. 
  • Take a deep breath and slowly bring your head and right leg back to the floor. (First movement) 
  • Next, again hold the right big toe with your right hand and move the right big toe towards the right shoulder. (Second movement) 
  • Breathe out, and come back to the original position, with both legs stretched out straight and hands on the thighs. (Third movement) 

       Relax and repeat the steps with the other leg.2 

Note- it is best to practise any asana on an empty stomach or after a minimum of four hours since you had a meal, whichever is sooner. The best time to practise supta padangusthasana is early morning, as the body is active and fresh. 

Do you know? 

  • Dr V.Gunasekaran from Tamil Nadu, India, is known to hold a record for performing supta padangusthasana blindfolded for the longest time, which lasted for three minutes and five seconds.   

Based on what I have observed, Supta Padangusthasana may help promote blood and lymph circulation and increase flexibility, that might be essential for maintaining healthy joints and avoiding injuries. By practising this pose, you may also enhance blood flow throughout your body and improve the overall suppleness of your muscles and joints.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Benefits of Supta Padangusthasana:  

Keeping the origin and history in mind, let us now discuss some benefits of supta padangusthasana.   

Benefit of Supta Padangusthasana in chronic back pain 

Lack of inactivity due to our busy schedules and faulty body postures have increased the episodes of back pain. Literature studies show that the practice of yoga may provide relief from back pain. Kimberly et al. in 2009 conducted a study and the results of this study showed that yoga intervention which included supta padangusthasana helped in reducing chronic back pain as this asana offers a great stretch to the legs and spine. Therefore, there is a potential that the practice of supta padangusthasana may potentially back pain. However, we need more studies to assess these claims. Due to this limitation, you should not consider the practice of this asana as a remedy for the management of back pain. It is best to consult your doctor for the proper treatment. The practice of supta padangusthasana must be done strictly under the supervision of a qualified trainer.3 

Benefit of Supta Padangusthasana for osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterized by weak and brittle bones, which may increase the risk of fractures. Bone mineral density (BMD) is a test done to measure the risk of osteoporosis, a decrease in BMD levels increases the risk of osteoporosis. A study conducted by Bernard et al. in 2016 stated that supta padangusthasana, along with other yoga asanas, may help in increasing bone mineral density. Thus, it can be concluded that the practice of supta padangusthasana may have the potential to manage osteoporosis.  It is therefore advised to consult your doctor for the proper treatment of osteoporosis. Additionally, the practice of supta padangusthasana should be strictly done under the supervision of a qualified trainer.4 

Benefit of Supta Padangusthasana in diabetes mellitus 

Literature studies state that yoga practices may benefit diabetes by enhancing insulin secretion due to the stimulation of pancreatic muscles. Honnedevasthana et al. conducted a study in 2021, the results of this study show that the practice of yoga asanas like supta padangusthasana may potentially benefit diabetes and reduce the risk of diabetic complications. Thus, the practice of yoga asanas like supta padangusthasana may have a positive impact on diabetes. However, you should not consider this asana as an alternative to modern medicine. It is advised to consult your doctor for proper management of diabetes. You should practice supta padangusthasana under the supervision of a qualified trainer only.5 

Benefit of Supta Padangusthasana in hernia 

Hernia is the bulging of a tissue or an organ through an abnormal opening, typically, the hernia is common in the intestines and stomach. B.K.S.Iyengar, in his book “Light on Yoga”, states that the practice of yoga asanas like supta padangusthasana may have a positive impact on a hernia. However, there are no studies claiming these results, so you should not rely on this asana alone. It is recommended to consult a doctor for proper management of a hernia. Additionally, it is best to practice this asana under the supervision of a qualified trainer.2 

Other benefits of Supta Padangusthasana: 

  • The practice of supta padangusthasana may help in managing piles.2 
  • Ancient texts by B.K.Iyengar states that supta padangusthasana may be helpful in paralysis.2  
  • The practice of this asana improves blood circulation in the legs and hips and strengthens these muscles.2 
  • Yogasanas like supta padangusthasana may improve the quality of life.6 
  • B.K.Iyengar stated that the practice of supta padangusthasana may benefit sciatica.2  
  • The practice of supta padangusthasana may relieve stiffness in joints.2 

Note- The benefits mentioned above of supta padangusthasana are studied in a limited human population. To ascertain these claims in humans, more studies are required.  

Although the practice of Yoga may help in the development of the mind and body, however, you should not consider yoga as an alternative to modern medicine. It is advised not to rely on Yoga alone to treat any condition. Kindly consult a qualified doctor for proper treatment. Additionally, any asana practice should be done under the supervision of a qualified trainer. 

If I am being honest, during the practise of Supta Padangusthasana, it’s important to avoid arching or flattening your back. You should aim to maintain a natural curve in your lower back while engaging in hip flexors and abdominal muscles. The movement of your legs should be in harmony with the actions of these muscles. Always keep the abdominal muscles soft and relaxed while they work!

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Risks of Supta Padangusthasana: 

The practice of supta padangusthasana should be performed with caution in: 

  • Pregnant women, children and the elderly, as there is limited data regarding the safety of this asana in these special groups. 

Following are a few important points while performing supta padangusthasana: 7 

  • Avoid practising any yoga asana, including supta padangusthasana, on an uneven surface. 
  • The practice of supta padangusthasana should be avoided after heavy meals. 
  • Do not wear jewellery or spectacles while performing supta padangusthasana. 
  • In case of any surgery, fractures, or illness, the practice of supta padangusthasana should be avoided. 

Conclusion

Supta padangusthasana is reclining posture yoga; the name comes from Sanskrit words, “supta” meaning lying down, “pada” means foot, “angustha” means big toe and “asana” means yoga posture or pose. In English, this pose is called the reclining hand-to-big-toe pose yoga. This asana is practised in three movements, also referred to as supta padangusthasana I, II, III or a, b, c. the practice of this asana may have a positive impact on diabetes mellitus, hernia, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, piles and paralysis.2 

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is the reclining hand-to-toe pose in yoga? 

Supta padangusthasana is reclining posture yoga; the name comes from Sanskrit words, “supta” meaning lying down, “pada” means foot, “angustha” means big toe and “asana” means yoga posture or pose. In English, this pose is called the reclining hand-to-big-toe pose yoga. This asana is practised in three movements, also referred to as supta padangusthasana I, II, III or a, b, c.2 

2) Does Supta Padangusthasana benefit back pain? 

Yes, the practice of supta padangusthasana may benefit back pain. However, you should not consider this asana as an alternative to modern medicine and should consult your doctor for proper treatment of back pain.3 

3) When to do supta padangusthasana? 

The best time to practice supta padangusthasana is early morning, as the body is active and fresh.2 

4) Is it safe to practice supta padangusthasana during a hernia? 

Yes, the practice of supta padangusthasana may have a positive impact on a hernia. However, there are limited studies that claim these benefits. It is therefore advised to consult your doctor for proper guidance.2 

5) Does supta padangusthasana benefit diabetes?

Yes, the practice of certain asanas like supta padangusthasana may benefit diabetes. However, you should not rely on this asana alone and consult your doctor for proper management of diabetes.5 

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is only for educational purposes and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by any healthcare professional. Because of the unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation. 

References: 

  1. Pallav et al. “Health Impacts of Yoga and Pranayama: A State-of-the-Art Review.” International journal of preventive medicine vol. 3, 7 (2012): 444-58. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3415184/ 
  1. B.K.S Iyengar. Light on Yoga. The bible of Modern Yoga-Its Philosophy and practice-by the world London: Thorsons.1966; 108-109. Available at:   https://mantrayogameditation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Light-on-Yoga_-The-Bible-of-Modern-Yoga-PDFDrive.com-.pdf  
  1. Kimberly et al. “Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain.” Spine vol. 34, 19 (2009): 2066-76. doi:10.1097/BRS.0b013e3181b315cc. available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4393557/#!po=27.5000 
  1. Bernard et al. Daily Yoga Regimen Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss. Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation 32(2): p 81-87, April/June 2016. | DOI: 10.1097/TGR.0000000000000085. available at: https://journals.lww.com/topicsingeriatricrehabilitation/Fulltext/2016/04000/Twelve_Minute_Daily_Yoga_Regimen_Reverses.3.aspx  
  1. Honnedevasthana et al. “Effects of Yoga Exercises on Diabetic Mellitus as Validated by Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” International journal of yoga vol. 14,1 (2021): 43-49. doi:10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_30_20. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8023444/ 
  1. Evans, Subhadra et al. “Impact of Iyengar yoga on quality of life in young women with rheumatoid arthritis.” The Clinical journal of pain vol. 29, 11 (2013): 988-97. doi:10.1097/AJP.0b013e31827da381. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3644391/ 
  1. Ministry, Y.A.  Do’s and don’ts of yoga practice, Yoga. Available at: https://yoga.ayush.gov.in/blog?q=58 (Accessed: February 8, 2023).  

Comments

Leave your comment...



You may also like