Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Type : Supine, Restorative
Justification : Hip & Chest Opener
Complimentary Posture : Self Complimentary
Physical Benefits: Opens the chest and stretches inner thigh muscles. Opens the groins and increases external rotation of hips. Increases circulation to the sacrum and abdomen. Stimulates the organs of the abdomen, the kidneys, the bladder, the ovaries, and the prostate gland. Stimulates the lymphatic system, reproductive and digestive systems. A good prenatal posture as it opens up the pelvic region. Improves digestion. Calms the nervous system. Lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Increases deeper breathing and oxygen flow thus relieving asthma and respiratory problems.
Therapeutic Benefits : Stimulates the heart and helps blood circulation, particularly in the abdomen. Reduces the symptoms of tension and stress, menopause, menstruation, and mild depression. Calms the nervous system.
Limitations : To be avoided if you suffer from a shoulder, lower back or hip injury. Use blanket support if you have a groin or knee injury. Pregnant women should practice with head and chest raised. Post-natal up in the first 8 weeks.
How To Practice : (Supported version) You will need 1 bolster, 1-3 blankets and 1 strap. Fold one of the blankets in four and place it on one end of the bolster. Roll the other two blankets in cylinder shapes and place them to either side of the bolster within arm’s reach. Sit on the other end of the bolster from the folded blanket with legs bent and the soles of the feet together in Baddha Konasana. Loop the strap around the sacrum as well as the two feet with the buckle away from the skin and the tether of the strap pointing towards the torso in order to adjust the snugness if necessary. With belt firmly on the sacrum (no higher) lower the buttocks down to the ground and pull the flesh of the buttocks towards the knees. If you feel like your lower back is too pinched here, slide the buttocks further away from the bolster placing the middle back on the bolster edge and with the help of your elbows, lower the torso down onto the bolster. Pull the two rolled blankets (or 2 blocks) comfortably up under your thighs to support the inner groins and hips. Place the head on the folded blanket making sure the edge just lightly touches the trapezius muscles. Stretch your arms out to both sides diagonally with palms to the ceiling to open the shoulders. Breathe 5 long and deep breaths. Then clasp both elbows and bring the arms above the head breathing 5 deep breaths. Change the clasp of the elbows and repeat, breathing once again 5 long and deep breaths. To come out of the pose, place your hands and elbows on the floor. Leading with sternum, press the elbows and hands into the ground so that your head follows the sternum. Free your feet and ankles from the belt. Turn around facing the bolster in Child’s Pose (Adho Mukha Virasana) ; knees slightly apart, big toes together, forehead on the bolster and arms active, stretching beyond the head. Relax and breathe 3 breaths.
(Unsupported Classic Version) Lying on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart, heels close to the buttocks. Inhale and open the legs, bringing the soles of the feet together as the knees fall towards the ground. Bring the coccyx towards the pubic bone or towards the heels to lengthen the lower back down. If your flexibility allows, roll your shoulders under your shoulder blades and grab the bottom of your tibias or ankles. Breathe fully for 4 breaths. If not yet possible, clasp each elbow with your hands and again breathe 4 full breaths on each side. Bring knees back up to each other into starting position. Roll to the side to come back up into a sitting position.
Tips : Breathe fully during the posture and relax the abdominal region completely. Relax all the facial muscles, neck, throat, jaw and mouth.