In yoga, Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe pose is our safest calf and hamstring stretch as it takes your lower back out of the equation.
RECLINING HAND-TO-BIG-TOE BENEFITS
- Stretches the ankles, calves, hamstrings and hip flexors.
- Can help to alleviate lower back pain.
Lie flat on your back.
Bring your right knee into your chest and straighten your left leg to the mat. Flex your left foot and point your toes straight up. Be careful not to let your bottom leg roll in or out and alter the position of your pelvis. Walk your hands up your leg to take hold of the back of your thigh, calf, ankle or big toe.
Check that your hips are level. You can bend your left knee and bring your left foot flat to the mat if that helps with your alignment. Your right kneecap should line up with your right shoulder. Relax into the stretch in your right hamstring—allowing it to gently release on every exhalation.
Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths on each side.
MODIFICATION: Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe pose with a strap
- Loop a strap or belt around the ball of your left foot and press through your heel.
- Avoid Reclining Hand-To-Big-Toe pose if you have a hamstring or hip injury.