Do you gauge your practice by the number of poses you can add to your asana repertoire?
I enjoy the back-to-basics Yoga: simple sitting, simple standing, simple walking.
Baddha Konasana is just one of those basic poses. Baddha means “bound, caught, restrained”. Kona means “in an angle”. As you by now know, asana means “posture”.
Cobblers in India often sit in this pose.
Sit on a mat or a firm cushion and draw the soles of your feet together, as close to your body as possible. If this is challenging, then add height to the cushion and draw your feet a little farther away from your body.
Clasp your feet with your hands. And, if this is too much of a stretch, then hold a Yoga strap, a belt or a long scarf below your ankles.
The intention is to lengthen the spine, lift the sternum (breastbone), keep the chin parallel to the floor and the gaze soft and straight ahead.
Let your breath be unobtrusive.
Allow the hips to open and the knees to lower. Inhale and lengthen the spine. Expand the chest. Keep all of the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the peripheral body (the outside of the body), soft.
Feel the skin being porous and tension melting like the unthawing of spring ice in frozen creeks. Be receptive physically, emotionally and spiritually as you sit. Let the skin feel porous as the breath flows freely in and out of the body.
Keep the eyes soft as you gaze straight ahead. Allow the hips to open and the knees to lower to the floor.
Root the tailbone into the floor as the sternum continues to lift. Expand your chest without tension in the body.
With diligent practice, you will eventually touch your chin to the floor as you hinge forward.
The benefits of Baddha Konasana are increased hip flexibility, strengthened back muscles and increased circulation in the pelvic region.
It’s particularly recommended for pregnant women.
Lillian Strauss is a Yoga practitioner, reflexologist, Thai massage therapist, movement and music teacher at Energy Works. Obviously, she is one of these people who never sleep and doesn’t own a television. For information on her classes, contact her at 393-4541 or [email protected]