The Reclining Big Toe Pose gives you a lot of benefits like stretching the hips, thighs, groins, calves, and hamstrings. It also helps with strengthening the knees. It also does a great job of stimulating the prostate gland too. It has a great effect on digestion too. It can help relieve the hard pain of backache, menstrual discomfort, and sciatica. It is also great for blood pressure, flat feet, and those suffering from infertility.
Some of the contraindications and cautions include diarrhea, headache, and high blood pressure.
The reclining big toe pose doesn’t have that attractive of a name, but it is descriptive. Let’s go through a step-by-step description of it.
1. Lie flat on the ground, with your legs powerfully extended. If you can’t lay your head in a comfortable position on the ground, place it against a thick blanket. Take an exhalation, bend your left knee, and bring the thigh in to your torso. Bring the thigh inward to your stomach. Push the front thigh on your right strongly into the ground, and push consciously through the heel on your right.
2. Make a loop with a strap across the arch of your left foot, and grip the straight tightly with both of your hands. Take an inhalation and keep straightening out the knee, and push the heel on your left into the ceiling too. Move the hands along the strap to the length to the point that your elbows reach fully out too. Stretch out your shoulder blades over the back. Make sure that your hands are as high up as you can get them with the strap, and push your shoulder blades every so slightly to the ground. Stretch out the collarbones radiating at around the sternum area.
3. Stretch up initially through the underside part of the heel on your left, and at the second you have your back leg in the middle of the heel and the sitting bone stretched, reach it up through the ball on the big toe. Start with the lifted leg in a perpendicular position to the ground. Let go of the head of your thigh bone much more strongly into your pelvis, and as you are doing this, bring the foot in a little nearer to your face, which will increase the stretch on the leg on the back part.
4. You can maintain this stretching position, or you can shift your leg away from where the joint on your hip is, so that the toes and knee will look to your left. Once you pin the upper part of your right thing to the ground, let out an exhalation and swing out your left leg somewhat away to your left and keep it a couple of inches from the ground. Continue to rotate your leg. Once you start to see the outer part of your thigh turn outside in a different direction from the torso on the left, attempt to move the foot on your left into alignment with your left shoulder. Take in an inhalation and make sure that you bring your leg back into a vertical position. Lighten up your grasp with the strap as you’re doing this, and you will be able to stretch the muscles on the inner thighs and hips so that they can handle the work.
5. Keep up the leg in its vertical position for a length of time from one to three minutes, and maintain that position for the same amount of time. At the second that you get back into the vertical position, then let the strap loose and hold it in the same position for about half a minute or more, and then release the leg as you let out an exhalation. Repeat with your right leg for about the same amount of time.
One beginner’s tip is that if when you are extremely stiff, you should work on this pose with heel from the bottom leg pushed against the wall. You can also place a block slightly away from the hip on the raised-leg. Next take your leg and swing out the leg to your side, rest it on top of the block. The support that is under your thigh will aid you in softening your inner groin.
Some variations of this pose include crossing the raised leg in front of your torso. After the left leg is raised, keep the strap clutched in the right hand, and as you exhale, cross the raised leg onto your right side. Take in an inhalation and bring the leg back into a perpendicular position on the remaining side.
There are some tweaks and props for this pose too. You can do the pose a little bit easier by lifting the heel on the lower leg off of the floor just a couple of inches on a book or a thick encyclopedia.
One preparatory pose for this is the Adho Mukha Svanasana. One follow-up pose for this is the standing pose.
You can deepen the pose if you have enough flexibility by gripping the big toe on the raised leg in lieu of working with the strap. From the beginning position, let out an exhalation and make a bending motion inside to the torso. Use your index, middle, and thumb fingers to clutch the big toe. Be sure to pull your arm inside the area of the thigh right when you grip the toe. Then, just do the pose as it is outlined above.