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Binding Yoga Poses

Why Is Binding So Beneficial in Yoga?

Binds require flexibility both in the physical body—in order to come into and maintain the pose—and in the mind.

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A pose that involves linking the hands (or sometimes a hand to a wrist), and rotating both the shoulders and the torso is called a bind.  This position “binds” the body and holds it as a container constricted by the arms and hands. Binds require flexibility in the physical body, in order to come into and maintain the pose. They also require a flexible mind, in order to stay present and sustain the pose.

If you’re looking to go physically deeper into a pose and increase the effects of rotation, binds can be an excellent way to do this. Binds also offer a different way to explore and experience alignment because they encourage you to make adjustments to make the pose work. These poses allow you to be curious, to play, and to be your own teacher—in other words, they’re fun!

Common poses with a bind:

Bound Forward Bend (Baddha Uttanasana)
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Bound Extended Side Angle Pose (Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana)
Bound Locust Pose (Salambhasana)

Bethany Lyons is a powerful leader, creator, community builder and cofounder of Lyons Den Power Yoga in Manhattan. She is a classically trained ballet dancer, Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher and Master Instructor at SoulCycle.