PRACTICE TIP - www.yogaon7th.com
By: Eve Johnson, Yoga on 7th
BLOCK IN BADDHA KONASANA
PUT A BLOCK BETWEEN YOUR FEET IN BADDHA KONASANA
- Sit in Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose) with the soles of your feet together, knees apart, heels close to your groins.
- Place your hands behind you, close to your buttocks, and press down to lift your ribcage.
- Roll your shoulders back and down.
- On your exhalations, softly bring your navel toward your spine.
- Stretch out from your inner thighs toward your inner knees.
- Without using your hands on your legs, press down to bring the knees closer to the floor.
- Hold for one minute, then release.
- Now put a wood or dense foam yoga brick between your feet, with the long narrow side of the block facing up.
- Press your hands into the floor behind your buttocks.
- Lift your sitting bones off the floor and move your groins closer to your heels.
- Press your feet strongly into the block. Make the pressure even on both sides, and watch that the big toes don’t lift away from the block.
- Now focus on lengthening your spine.
- Hold for one minute, then remove the brick and bring your feet back together in Baddha Konasana.
- Notice how much more free you feel in the pose.
Benefits: What could be better than making something temporarily harder and then taking away the impediment and cashing in on instant progress?
Baddha konasana builds strength in your lower back, and brings flexibility to the inner groins and knees. It also tones the abdominal organs and keeps the urinary system healthy.
Sequence: Like hamstrings, inner thighs respond best to daily practice. Make it a habit to sit in Baddha Konasana while you watch television or talk on the phone.
As part of a longer practice, try this preparation before doing tree pose, triangle pose, warrior II, or Utthita Parsvakonasana (side angle pose). Or use it before a practice of seated twists and forward bends.
Ouch: If your inner thigh muscles are tight, and your knees point toward the ceiling when you bring your feet together, sit on a bolster, or on one or two chip foam blocks.
For extra support, sit with your back to the wall.
Find a position in which your inner thighs are comfortable, and slowly begin to stretch, keeping the sensations intense but still pleasant.
If you have a groin or knee injury, do not work with the brick. To sit in Baddha Konasana, prop your thighs up with foam blocks or rolled blankets until you feel no strain in your knees or inner thighs. Check with your teacher to make sure you have enough support to work safely in the pose.