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Flexible hips and leg muscles are needed to pull your foot to your head.
Pulling your foot to your head is a difficult task that often takes many years to master. It requires deep flexibility in the hips, legs and muscles of the side body. According to B.K.S. Iyengar in his book, "Light on Yoga," this pose helps with core strength and improves digestion. Practicing stretches and yoga poses that incorporate the elongation of the hip and leg muscles, like both Seated and Reclined Forward Bends and hip openers will bring you closer to pulling your foot to your head.
Reclined Big Toe Hold
Lay all the way down onto your back, flexing your toes up toward the ceiling.
Raise your right leg and grab your right big toe with your thumb, index and middle fingers of your right hand.
Place your left palm on the top of your left thigh.
On an exhalation, bend your right elbow and lift your head up toward your right shin.
Hold this position and breathe deeply.
Release your right leg to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
Baby Cradle Pose
Sit tall with your legs as straight as possible and your toes flexed up toward the ceiling.
Keep your left leg as straight as possible and bend your right knee.
Lift your bent right leg up, holding your right knee with your right hand and your left foot with your left hand.
Lean slightly forward and pull your right knee in toward your right shoulder and your right ankle toward your left shoulder.
Sit tall and gently rock your hip back and forth, side to side, releasing the right hip joint.
Release your right foot back down to meet your left and repeat with the left leg.
Sit tall with your legs together and stretched out in front of you.
Keeping your spine straight, hinge forward at your hips and use your first two fingers and your thumbs to grab your big toes.
On the exhalation, shift your weight into your left leg and press your left sitting bones into the mat.
Roll your right shoulder open, rotating your core, and with control, pull your right foot back your right ear, passing your right knee beyond your ear and keeping your elbow lifted.
Keep your left leg and core activated, flexing through your left toes and lifting your spine tall and your ribs in to hold your torso up straight.
Pause here and breathe deeply.
Release your right leg and come back to a straight-legged seated position.
Repeat on the opposite leg.
In Reclined Big Toe Hold, use the strength of your abdominal muscles to lift you up, rather than using your arm strength.
Do not hold or tighten your breath during these stretches.