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Reclining Bound Angle Pose

A classic restorative posture, Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose can be modified for any level of hip and groin resistance.


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Whether you want to rest, or you want to gather your energy for the next thing on your list, this pose is a helpful one to take. Reclining Bound Angle will energize and refuel you for whatever is coming your way. It gives the body a chance to relax—and also to open up. As you lie on your back with your knees open to the sides and feet together, your chest, abdominal, groins and leg muscles release. Your breath may slow down and your mind may start to feel calmer. Take Supta Baddha Konasana whenever you want to ground and connect. It’s also great for menstrual cramps, PMS and digestive issues. It’s one of the only poses that is recommended after you eat. But it will work anytime, day or night. Even in your bed before you sleep. Cue the relaxation with this incredible asana that’s chock full of benefits. Let your muscles and your mind just melt.

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Sanskrit

Supta Baddha Konasana

(SOUP-tah BAH-dah cone-NAHS-anna)
supta = lying down, reclining
baddha = bound
kona = angle

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Reclining Bound Angle Pose basics

Benefits

  • Stimulates abdominal organs like the ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys
  • Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation
  • Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of stress, mild depression, menstruation and menopause
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How to

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  1. Perform Baddha Konasana. Exhale and lower your back torso toward the floor, first leaning on your hands. Once you are leaning back on your forearms, use your hands to spread the back of your pelvis and release your lower back and upper buttocks through your tailbone. Bring your torso all the way to the floor, supporting your head and neck on a blanket roll or bolster if needed.
  2. With your hands grip your topmost thighs and rotate your inner thighs externally, pressing your outer thighs away from the sides of your torso. Next slide your hands along your outer thighs from the hips toward the knees and widen your outer knees away from your hips. Then slide your hands down along your inner thighs, from the knees to the groins. Imagine that your inner groins are sinking into your pelvis. Push your hip points together, so that while the back pelvis widens, the front pelvis narrows. Lay your arms on the floor, angled at about 45 degrees from the sides of your torso, palms up.
  3. The natural tendency in this pose is to push the knees toward the floor in the belief that this will increase the stretch of the inner thighs and groins. But especially if your groins are tight, pushing the knees down will have just the opposite of the intended effect: The groins will harden, as will your belly and lower back. Instead, imagine that your knees are floating up toward the ceiling and continue settling your groins deep into your pelvis. As your groins drop toward the floor, so will your knees.
  4. To start, stay in this pose for one minute. Gradually extend your stay anywhere from five to 10 minutes. To come out, use your hands to press your thighs together, then roll over onto one side and push yourself away from the floor, head trailing the torso.
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Beginner tips

Another way to deal with strain in the inner thighs and groins is to raise the feet slightly off the floor. Use a block padded with a sticky mat and lay the outside edges of your feet parallel to the long axis of the block’s top face. If the lowest height of the block isn’t sufficient to relieve the strain, turn the block to its middle height.

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Teacher tips

Deepen the Pose

You can also involve your arms in this pose. Inhale and raise your arms toward the ceiling, parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Rock back and forth a few times, further broadening the shoulder blades across your back. Then inhale again and stretch your arms overhead, on the floor, palms up toward the ceiling. Rotate your arms so the outer armpits roll toward the ceiling and pull your shoulder blades down your back toward your tailbone.

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Variations

Photo: Andrew Clark. Clothing: Calia

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

If tight joints make hip openers difficult, roll a blanket and slip it under your knees for more support in the pose. This is also a helpful variation for a Restorative yoga practice.

Photo: Andrew Clark. Clothing: Calia

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

You can practice this pose against the wall. Begin in Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose. Bend your knees and bring your feet toward your hips, then open your knees outward and bring the soles of your feet together. You can place your hands on your thighs or knees, or extend your arms out on the floor.

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Why we love this pose

 

 

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Preparatory and counter poses

Preparatory Poses

  • Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana
  • Virasana
  • Vrksasana

Follow-up Poses

Supta Baddha Konasana is an excellent preparatory pose for a number of different poses, including many standing poses, Gomukhasana, Malasana, Padmasana, and most seated twists and forward bends.

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Anatomy