Padangusthasana

THIRTEEN*

Supta means lying down. Pada is the foot. Angustha means the big toe. Hence the name.

TECHNIQUE

1. Lie flat on the back, stretch both legs and keep the knees tight. (Plate 98)

2. Inhale, raise the left leg from the floor until it is perpendicular. Keep the right leg stretched fully on the floor and rest the right hand on the right thigh.

3. Raise the left arm and catch the left big toe between the thumb and the fore and middle fingers. (Plate 129) Take 3 or 4 deep breaths.

4. Exhale, raise the head and trunk from the floor, bend the left arm at the elbow and pull the left leg towards the head without bending it at the knee. Pull the leg down, lift the head and trunk up together and rest the chin on the left knee. (Plate 130) Stay in this position for about 20 seconds, keeping the right leg fully stretched straight along the floor while breathing normally.

5. Inhale, move the head and trunk back to the floor and the left leg back to the perpendicular. (Plate 129) This completes the first movement.

6. Exhale, release the toe grip, rest the left leg on the floor beside the right one and keep the left hand on the left thigh.

7. Take a few deep inhalations and then repeat on the right, substituting the word 'left' for the word 'right'.

EFFECTS

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. It can be practised by both men and women.

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