Bound Angle Pose
baddha = bound
kona = angle
1) Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight. Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.
2) Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. With the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the big toe of each foot. Always keep the outer edges of the feet firmly on the floor. If it isn’t possible to hold the toes, clasp each hand around the same-side ankle or shin.
3) Sit so that the pubis in front and the tailbone in back are equidistant from the floor. The perineum then will be approximately parallel to the floor and the pelvis in a neutral position. Firm the sacrum and shoulder blades against the back and lengthen the front torso through the top of the sternum.
4) Never force your knees down. Instead release the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor. When this action leads, the knees follow.
5) Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. Then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs back to their original position.
Sanskrit Name: Baddha Konasana
Pose Level: 1
Contraindications and Cautions
Groin or knee injury: Only perform this pose with blanket support under the outer thighs.
Modifications and Props
To understand the release of the heads of the thigh bones, fold two blankets and put one under each outer thigh, supporting the thighs an inch or so above their maximum stretch. Then lay a 10-pound sand bag on each inner groin, parallel to the crease between the thigh and pelvis. Release the thigh heads away from the weight, and let them sink into the blankets. Do not use the bags unless the thighs are supported.
Deepen the Pose
Imagine you have two partners, each pressing inward (toward the pelvis) on a knee. From the middle of your sacrum, push out along the outer thighs against this imaginary resistance. Then push the heels firmly together from the knees.
It can be difficult to lower the knees toward the floor. If your knees are very high and your back rounded, be sure to sit on a high support, even as high as a foot off the floor.
Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries and prostate gland, bladder, and kidneys
Stimulates the heart and improves general circulation
Stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees
Helps relieve mild depression, anxiety, and fatigue
Soothes menstrual discomfort and sciatica
Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
Therapeutic for flat feet, high blood pressure, infertility, and asthma
Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy is said to help ease childbirth.
With thanks to Yoga Journal