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Bound Angle Pose (baddha konasana)

Seated posture that stretches your groin and inner thighs.
 

Bound Angle Pose (or baddha konasana) provides a stretch to your groin and inner thighs. You can also use this pose to develop flexibility in your hips, knees, ankles and feet.
 
Practicing Bound Angle Pose opens the front of your pelvis and promotes circulation in your pelvic floor. For these reasons, this pose is often used as a prenatal exercise and is helpful for relieving menstrual problems.
 
While performing Bound Angle Pose, make sure you rest your weight on your sitting bones as you drop your knees toward the floor. You should feel a stretch, but no pain, in your knees. If your knees are high up off the floor, do not force them down. Instead, move your feet further away from your groin or place rolled up blankets under your knees for support. After you come out of Bound Angle Pose, you should perform Staff Pose or shake out your legs to relieve your knees and ankles.
 
You should avoid Bound Angle Pose if you have a knee or groin injury.
 
Steps:
Begin in Staff Pose.
Bend your legs and place the soles of your feet together.
Clasp your feet or ankles and then move your heels toward your groin as far as is comfortable for you.
Exhale as you allow your knees to drop toward the floor.
Relax your shoulders and arms.
Press your sitting bones into the floor and point the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen your spine.
(Visualize your knees opening like the wings of a butterfly.)
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then return to Staff Pose.
 
Modification:
You can perform Bound Angle Pose with your back touching a wall. This is useful if you have a weak lower back and require extra support. Perform Bound Angle Pose, except sit with your back lightly touching a wall.
 
How can I incorporate movement into Bound Angle Pose?
To incorporate movement into Bound Angle Pose, gently bounce your knees up and down as you perform the pose. This variation, called Butterfly Pose, helps to further release tension from your groin area and open your hips and inner thighs. When performing this variation, visualize your knees moving like the wings of a butterfly.
 
How can I relieve tightness in my hips while performing Bound Angle Pose?
Perform the pose as described above and then rock your body from side to side. The rocking motion massages your hips to relieve tightness and tension. This variation of Bound Angle Pose is also useful as a warm-up in preparation for other poses.
 
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