Supta Padangusthasana (preparatory version)


  • Lie flat on your back, take a head support to stop the head tipping back (fold a blanket to a size that feels comfortable)
  • Bend your knees and place both feet onto the floor
  • Take the belt into your hands and, lifting your foot off the floor, bring the belt around the front of the heel (2-3mm of belt in direct contact with the heel bone)
  • Hold the two ends of the belt with your two hands separately
  • Giving yourself enough slack on the belt to do so, start pressing your heel into the belt, feel how you can draw the front of the leg into the increasing sensations of the posture
  • As you are extending your knee keep some support from the front of the leg by keeping a light lift from the top of the shin near the knee cap (from the tibial tuberosity)
  • Take deep and honest breaths that let you breathe into the stretch.
  • Feel where the inner (medial) edges of your shoulder blades touch the floor. Allow  yourself to be present by breathing into the point of contact; soon your chest will beginto feel a light expansion.
  • Stay for 1-3 minutes investigating the stretch; allowing for the freedom to back -track (reverse out of the posture a little until a sense of deeper breathing returns), pause, play (see if different movements make any difference to your levels of interest in the pose), and let the breath return to a more truthful and authentic feel.


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The Buddha recited the poem:
‘Let not a person revive the past
Or on the future build his hopes,

For the past has been left behind
And the future has not been reached.

Instead, with insight, let him see
Each presently arisen state;
Let him know that and be sure of it,
Invincibly, unshakeably.

Today, the effort must be made;
Tomorrow, Death may come, who knows?
No bargain with Mortality
Can keep him and his hoards away.

— The Majjima Nikaya (The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha)