Baddha konasana is an important sitting pose. “Baddha” mean to bound, caught or restrained and “kona” means angle.
This is often known as cobblers pose. Indian cobblers sit on the floor to repair shoes by holding the shoes between their feet, hence the posture. More commonly known is butterfly as many flap the thighs up and down to loosen the hips before going into the pose.
This asana can be used to perform pranayama. It is good for meditation when a state of complete comfort is attained in the pose.
Beginners find baddha konasana rather challenging. They cannot lower the knees on the side. They also sit with a hunched back. The pose feels uneasy.
Further, many have been working on baddha konasana but somehow still cannot relax the hips. Simply by flapping the legs as a warm up may not help much.
We therefore need to understand the physiology and be clear about how to approach the practice.
Generally, Asians are more flexible in their hips as culturally many have the habit of sitting on the floor. Whereas westerners have relatively tighter hips because of either the climate or the lifestyle. Nowadays, because of the change in work environment and living conditions, few sit on the floor. Hence, most have tighter hips irrespective of cultural differences.
Baddha konasana is a symmetrical pose that keeps the upper and lower bodies in perfect balance.
As the hips flex and turn outwards, the knees bend and move away from each other. As the outer edges of the feet touch, use the fingers to hold the toes to join the soles together.
When pressing both feet evenly, the thighbones push out towards the knees. This action lowers the knees down as the heels move towards the groin or perineum. Then lift the spine from the lower back and keep the back erect, shoulders back and neck straight.Series 1
Yoga blocks keep the spine more erect in order to avoid hunchback.
Props include the wall, yoga blocks, blankets, belt and bolsters. The props help the hips, groin and the hamstrings relax and be more flexible. These make the practice more comfortable.
- Sit on a folded blanket in baddha konasana.
- Place two block behind the hips.
- Roll the shoulders back, widen the collor bones away from each other, tuck the shoulder blades into the back.
- Place the palms on the blocks and bend the elbows slightly, keeping the inner elbows close to each other.
- Press the thigh bones firm to the floor and the knees away.
- Lengthen the spine from the lower back, lift up the chest.
- Stay for 20 to 30 seconds, breathing evenly.
Benefits: This enables the spine to be erect and makes the shoulders broader. It aids sitting still in the pose.
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