The reclining big toe pose sequence lengthens the gluteals, hamstrings, calves as well as the inner and outer thigh muscles. This is a very relaxing pose, great for cyclists with tired or tight legs.
How to do reclining big toe pose:
- Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
- Bending the right knee into the chest, wrap a strap around the ball of the foot.
- Holding the belt with both hands gradually start to straighten the leg up towards the ceiling.
- Keep the arms straight and soften the shoulders towards the floor. Donʼt pull on the belt, just allow the weight of the arms to lengthen out the back of the leg.
- Slide the other leg out along the floor. Stay here for at least 5 breaths.
- Then take the belt into the right hand, put the left hand on top of the left hip. As you exhale open your right leg out to the right side, trying not to roll over.
- Let the right leg move further away from you if it feels very tight. Hold for 5 breaths. Inhale bring the leg back up.
- Now take the belt into the left hand, relax the right arm down.
- As you exhale take the leg over to the left, allowing yourself to roll onto the outer left hip. Hold for 5 breaths remembering to breath smoothly.
- Inhale the leg back up, bend the knee, release the belt and repeat on the other side.
- To make the pose easier allow the belt to be longer and the leg further away from you.
- If you need more stretch try drawing the leg closer towards the head in each position.
What to watch out for:
- Make sure the head and shoulders are relaxed down to the floor. Keep the arms straight.
- Find a point where your leg is reasonably comfortable, the leg shouldnʼt shake.
- Focus on having smooth even breath.
- High blood pressure, lift the head and neck with a folded blanket or pillow.
Our instructor is Polly Clark; yoga teacher and founder of Mountain Yoga Breaks who offer weekends combining mountain biking and yoga in the beautiful Welsh countryside.