Reclined Intense Back Stretch Pose or Supta Paschimottanasana (soup-tah pah-shee-mote-tahn-ah-sah-nah) is a basic reclined asana that provides a strong hamstring stretch. The name comes from the Sanskrit supta, meaning “reclined”; paschim, which means “west” and refers to the back of the body; uttana, which means “stretched out”; and asana, meaning “pose.”
In Supta Paschimottasana, the yogi lies on their back and folds at the hips so that the straight legs lift overhead and continue to drop toward the forehead while the hands grasp the big toes. It resembles paschimottanasana, or seated forward bend, but done lying on one’s back.
Benefits and Contraindications
This is a great hamstring and lower back stretch
Can ease constipation
Can help with the alignment and positioning of the spine
This pose is part of a Yoga for Back Pain sequence
Helps relieve headache
Pregnancy and menstruating
Hernia and sciatica
Injury in hips, back, spine, shoulders, neck, or legs
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Supta Paschimottanasana is generally safe for beginners. However, it’s important to practice with proper alignment and listen to your body to avoid any strain or injury.
If you have lower back pain, it’s important to practice with caution and consult with a healthcare professional or a qualified yoga teacher before attempting the pose. You may need to modify the pose or practice with the support of props.
You can hold Supta Paschimottanasana for 5-10 deep breaths, or longer if it feels comfortable for you. It’s important to allow your body to relax and release tension with each exhale.
Some common mistakes to avoid include rounding your spine, forcing the stretch, and holding your breath. Remember to practice with proper alignment, move slowly and mindfully, and breathe deeply throughout the pose.
- Reclined Intense Back Stretch Pose With A Strap
- Reclined Intense Back Stretch Pose With A Bolster
- Reclined Intense Back Stretch Pose One leg at A Time
- Reclined Intense Back Stretch Pose Legs up the wall variation
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