Supta means lying down. In this asana one reclines back on the floor and stretches the arms behind the head.

Technique

  1. Sit in Virasana.
  2. Exhale, recline the trunk back and rest the elbows one by one on the floor.
  3. Relieve the pressure on the elbows one after the other by extending the arms.
  4. At first rest the crown of the head on the floor. Gradually rest the back of the head and then the back on the floor. Take the arms over the head and stretch them out straight. Hold this pose as long as you can while breathing deeply. Then place the arms beside the trunk, press the elbows to the floor and sit up again with an exhalation.
  5. The hands may be stretched over the head or placed beside the thighs. When they are stretched over the head, do not raise the shoulder blades from the floor.
  6. Beginners may keep the knees apart.

Effects

This asana stretches the abdominal organs and the pelvic region. People whose legs ache will get relief from holding this pose for 10 to 1 5 minutes and it is recommended to athletes and all who have to walk or stand about for long hours. It can be done after meals and if before retiring at night the legs feel rested next morning.