Baddha Konasana

Baddha Konasana
Do you have trouble sitting on the ground or staying in seated meditation? The muscles in your hips and groin might be to blame. When these are tight, they compromise the ability to move and support the muscles in the back and legs. Fortunately, Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose, can help us to safely stretch these areas. This pose also allows us a clear view of our body’s condition on any given day. In addition, it teaches patience and self-care. There are so many good reasons to practice Baddha Konasana!

To determine where you should start with this position, try sitting on the floor in Simple Seated Posture, or Sukhasana. Check the position of your knees in relation to the rest of your body. Are they high or low? If the former, this tells you that the muscles in your lower back are tight; holding Sukhasana without props is going to eventually start to bother your spine. If this is the case, raise the floor by seating yourself on a bolster, folded blanket, or block – the objective is to have your knees pointing down towards the floor beneath you. If your knees do this without support, you have some flexibility here – proceed with a different kind of caution, as you could over-stretch.

Once you’ve determined your area of caution, remove the prop and sit with the bottom of your feet touching. Your legs will make a diamond shape that you can – slowly – move into a triangle by bringing your feet towards your groin. (If you end up somewhere in between, no worries – this is why we practice!) Once in position, straighten your back and breathe into the muscles below your waist. How do they feel? Would simply staying here with a straight back be enough for today?

If you decide to move on, bring your hand to your feet; I like to grab my instep with my thumbs and wrap my other fingers around the top part. On an exhale, imagine that there is a wire attached to your chest that is being gently tugged towards the opposite wall. Without rounding the back, bring the chest area forward, bending at the hips.

You may find yourself sitting relatively upright, with the angle of your back and hips just a shade narrower than it was when you began. That’s completely fine. It’s tempting to round the back to try and get yourself over your legs, but that defeats the purpose of the pose. Instead, move to a comfortable stretch and then relax the muscles, breathing evenly. Take a few breaths here and then see if you can pull your chest out further. If not, fine – hold the position and keep breathing and relaxing what you can. If you can move farther forward, great – but make sure that you’re moving slowly and deliberately, without bouncing that might tear delicate tissue.

To come out, inhale and raise the back so that you are once again sitting with your head pointing towards the ceiling. How do you feel? What does your mental and physical state teach you about further self-care?

Baddha Konasana is an excellent pose to include in a cool-down sequence, or as a warm-up for seated meditation. Practice with patience and focus, and it provides an outlet for introspection and mindfulness. While it looks simple, it produces results.

You Should Also Read:
A Beginning Yin Sequence
Yoga and Weight Training
Exploring Apasana

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