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Supta Baddha Konasana

Shannon Brophy


Pronunciation: (SOOP-tah BAW-dah cone-NAWS-ahna) Translation: Supta, in Sanskrit, meants reclining. Baddha means bound and Kona is angle. Asana means pose. Therefore Supta Baddha Konasana means Reclining Bound Angle Pose. Technique: Passive, supported poses like Supta Baddha Konasana are what are known as "restorative" poses. They allow the body to relax and receive the healing effects of yoga, bring the body back to a relaxed and natural state with less tension. In modern life one has a hard time avoiding stress and avoiding creating muscular tension. Doing restorative yoga is a good antidote. This is a posture that encourages you to to listen quietly to messages the body has to offer. To practice this posture, you need some way of propping yourself up such as yoga bolsters or an assortment of firm blankets. You should also plan to use a long yoga belt. . When this pose is performed with the body properly supported it can feel delicious and is a panacea for many problems. However, when the body is not properly supported the pose can be uncomfortable. To achieve full benefits one stays in Supta Baddha Konasana for an extended period of time, from 5 to 20 minutes. Use the props to make yourself comfortable for an extended stay. We will explain how. To get into the reclining version of Baddha Konasana start in the seated Baddha Konasana pose. Sit upright with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent. Bring your feet as close to your torso as possible. In order to find what props your body needs to hold the reclined version of the pose comfortably for some time lower your back and torso to the floor using your hands to support and guide you. Inhale and slide the arms up over your head and rest them on the floor extended above your head. If this is a comfortable pose then you do not need any props. However, if it is not comfortable then props will probably prove to be beneficial. There are a number of common causes of discomfort and some standard and highly effective prop-based remedies. One source of discomfort is your knees, inner thighs or groins when your

leg muscles are not yet stretched to the point where the knees come all the way down to the floor. In this case, put a yoga block, a bolster or a rolled blanket or two under each knee. Support the knees to the height they naturally fall as you do the pose without the blankets. Another common source of discomfort is the lower back. It is usually caused by compression between your lumbar vertebrae from overarching the lower back. To relieve strain in the lower back use a stack of folded blankets or one or more bolsters as a prop. This prop should be long enough so that when you lie down on it it supports your entire upper torso including your head. If you are using blankets make sure that when they are folded they are wide enough to give support to your shoulders. Position this prop so that when you lie down it will be under your back and shoulders and providing it support and allowing the lower spine to elongate. Sit on the floor or your mat just in front of the prop with your pelvis in contact with the front of your stack of blankets or bolster and then slowly lower yourself onto the supporting prop. Experiment with the height of the prop you use. It should be just high enough so that when you lie on it there is no discomfort in the lumbar spine area of your lower back. You may also feel some discomfort in the neck. This is caused by compression between the cervical vertebrae from over-arching your neck. In this pose the neck should be extended. To help achieve the proper neck extension and relieve neck discomfort position put a small but firm pillow under your head so that it is slightly higher than your shoulders. Often folding a yoga blanket two or three times and positioning it across the top of the prop supporting your spine will provide an ideal pillow. For many it is difficult to keep the heels positioned close to the pelvis while in the pose. Use a long strap or long yoga belt as a prop to deal with this problem. Take the strap or belt and attach the clasp at the end to forming a wide loop. Sit in the seated form of Baddha Konasana and put the looped strap or belt over your torso. Position the strap so that it is at the top of your back pelvis. Put the front of the looped strap over your bent knees and then under your two feet as they are sole-to-sole. Tighten the belt so it is snug but not so tight that it will constrict your comfort in the pose. You can experiment with the loops length by lying back on your stack of blankets or bolsters and then, if it needs adjustment, sitting up and tightening or loosening of the strap or belt as needed. After you have all your props sit in front of the prop supporting your spine, use the loop to hold your feet close to your pelvis and lie back onto your prop into the supported Supta Baddha Konasana pose. Allow

your face to soften and your jaw to release with your eyes closed. You may want to use an eyebag as you relax in the pose. Feel the tension unravel. Draw your attention inward. Relax in the pose and then, when you are finished, release the belt around your feet, extend the legs and roll out of the pose onto your side, and then return to a seated position. Beginners Tip: Spend time adjusting your props and blankets so that you are truly comfortable, your head and full back elevated with props and your knees supported if you necessary. The belt shouldnt be too tight. Think of this pose as just being not doing which is a wonderful thing to bring into the rest of your life. Benefits: Frees energy flow in pelvic area Increases vitality in digestive organs Good for pregnant women in preparation for childbirth (use bolsters) Quiets the mind Relief from PMS and menopausal symptoms Relief from mild depression Stretches inner thighs and opens groins Can provide great relief for wheelchair bound patients. Contraindications: Do not do this pose post-partum when until pelvic area muscles that became loose for child birth have recovered their prepregnancy tightness. Be exceedingly careful if you have had a groin or knee injury. Use bolsters under the knees for support and do not bring the knees down too far. Dont do the pose with a hip or shoulder injury.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) opens up the deep channels of the sexual area (courses the liver channel which runs through the groin), by simultaneously opening the pelvis-belly and pelvis-legs angles, in a way that's most easily achieved with a yoga strap. This is a passive stretch: you lay back and relax into it for a while (5-15 minutes). Be attentive to breathe all the way through to the lower belly. This is one of the most effective stretches for the sexual area; do yourself a favor and spend the few $'s for a yoga strap.

supta baddha konasana, feet pulled up close to tailbone, relax for 5-10 minutes. then slowly begin raising the legs, stopping periodically to discover/allow waves of trembling, shaking. 1. not qigong per se, but in the realm of spontaneous movement, there are two standing postures (and one lying posture) on trauma releasing exercises that effectively trigger completely spontaneous trembling/shaking for me. worth checking out for the context (and to support the authors when you can) but the gist is: 1. do a wall sit, arms empty hanging at sides. when it starts to approach intolerable, raise your position a few inches while looking for the trembling. 2. best done after position 1, lean over forward, hands in front of you to touch the floor, knees still bent, and explore slowly straightening the legs, looking for (or maintaining the already existing) trembling. 3. lie down in "supta baddha konasana", bottoms of feet together, and thrust your pelvis off the ground about 6-12 inches. hold this for a minute or so. then lower back down completely, and let your hips completely open and relax. after a few minutes, begin bringing your knees together, looking for the trembling. there is also an excellent 4th posture for spontaneous movement, that you can find on qigong for self healing that is better left for jenny lamb to describe. in all of these the key imo is to find the emerging tremble and make that the center of awareness at first. immerse in the actual sensations, the texture, the richness, and expand awareness slowly, closely look for how the trembling might also be subtly expanding or deepening and allow this, and anything else that arises, e.g., sudden thrashing, sound, laughter, tears. sean

3. Supta Baddha Konasana Reclining Bound Angle Pose Benefit Strengthens inner thighs and increases circulation to the sacrum

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet together and comfortably close to the buttocks. inhale and open the legs, bringing the soles of the feet together as the knees come apart. On a long, slow exhalation, draw the knees back together as you tighten the belly muscles and push the lower back down. On an inhalation, open the knees again. This time, take the space of 2 exhalations to close them, pausing halfway up to inhale. inhale and open the knees again. Take the space of 3 exhalations to close them, pausing one-third of the way up, and then two-thirds of the way up before returning to the starting position. inhale and open the knees again. Finally, dose the legs over the course of 4 exhalations, pausing to inhale at one-fourth, onehalf, and three-fourths of the way up before returning to the starting position. (Don't worry if your legs begin to tremblethis is natural.)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) Benefit Strengthens inner thighs and increases circulation to the sacrum Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet together and comfortably close to the buttocks. Inhale and open the legs, bringing the soles of the feet together as the knees come apart. On a long, slow exhalation, draw the knees back together as you tighten the belly muscles and push the lower back down. On an inhalation, open the knees again. This time, take the space of 2 exhalations to close them, pausing halfway up to inhale. Inhale and open the knees again. Take the space of 3 exhalations to close them, pausing one-third of the way up, and then two-thirds of the way up before returning to the starting position. Inhale and open the knees again. Finally, close the legs over the course of 4 exhalations, pausing to inhale at onefourth, one-half, and three-fourths of the way up before returning to the starting position. (Don't worry if your legs begin to tremblethis is natural.)

Enjoying a Safe and Sound Yoga Practice As you move from one yogic posture to the next, pay attention to the signals taking place between your mind and your body. Do you feel removed from your problems, comfortable and confident with your strength, motion, and steadiness? Or are you painfully in tune with each passing minute, sensing physical awkwardness and strain in your movements? Listening to your own rhythms and acknowledging their importance can make your Yoga experience peaceful, calm, and secure. And that's what Yoga is all about.

Making sense of the perfect posture myth Some modern schools of Hatha Yoga claim that they teach "perfect" postures that you can slip into as easily as a tailor-made suit. But should a 15-year-old athlete perform a posture following the same guidelines that apply to a 60-year-old retiree? Surely not. Besides, these schools disagree among themselves about what constitutes a perfect posture. To spell it out, the perfect posture is perfectly mythical. Posture has only two requirements: A posture should be steady and comfortable. Steady posture: This is any posture that's held stable for a period of time. The key isn't freezing all movement, though. Your posture becomes steady when your mind is steady. As long as your thoughts run wild and your negative emotions are not held in check, you're not steady. Comfortable posture: A posture is comfortable when it is enjoyable and enlivening rather than boring and burdensome. A comfortable posture increases your sattva. The more sattva you have, the more relaxed and happy you will be. Listening to your body No one knows your body like you do. The more you practice Yoga, the better you can become at determining your limitations with each posture: Each posture presents its own unique challenge. Ideally, you want to feel encouraged to explore and expand your physical and emotional boundaries without straining or injuring yourself. Some teachers speak of practicing at the edge. The idea is to gradually push that edge farther back and open up new territory. To practice at the edge, you must cultivate self-observation and pay attention to the feedback from your body. Gauge the intensity of a Yoga posture using a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being at the threshold of pain. Especially watch your breath. If your breathing becomes labored, it's usually a good indication that you are going over the edge. Beginners commonly experience trembling when holding certain Yoga postures. Normally, the involuntary motion is in the legs or arms and is nothing to worry about, as long as you aren't straining. The tremors are simply a sign that your muscles are working in response to a new demand. Instead of focusing on the wobbly feeling, make your breath a little longer and allow your attention to go deeper within. If the trembling goes off the Richter scale, either ease up a little or end the posture altogether. Moving slowly but surely All postural movements are intended for slow performance. Unfortunately, our movements are unconscious, too fast, and not particularly graceful. We stumble, bump into things, and are generally not aware of our bodies. The yogic postures oblige you to adopt a different attitude. Among the advantages of slow motion are: You enhance your awareness, which enables you to listen to what your body is telling you.

You lower the risk of straining or spraining muscles, tearing ligaments, or overtaxing your heart. You relax more quickly. Your breathing is improved. You use more muscle groups. Practice your postures at a slow, steady pace while calmly focusing on your breath and your movements. Resist the temptation to speed up; instead, savor each posture. If your breathing becomes labored or you begin to feel fatigued, just rest until you're ready to go on. If you find yourself rushing through your program, pause and ask yourself why you're in a hurry. If you have an actual reason, such as an imminent appointment, your best bet is to crop your program and focus on fewer exercises. However, if you're rushing because you're bored, remind yourself why you're practicing Yoga in the first place. Renew your motivation by telling yourself that you have plenty of time to complete your session; you have no earthly reason to be in any hurry. Boredom is a sign that you are detached from your own bodily experience and are not living in the present moment. Resume your Yoga practice as a full participant in the process. Function over form You don't have to have perfect form the day you start practicing yoga. Instead, think of having forgiving limbs. Although bent arms and legs don't look flashy, they enable you to move your spine more easily, which is the focus of many postures and the key to a healthy spine. For example, the primary mechanical function of a standing forward bend is to stretch your lower back. If you have a good back, take a moment to do this adapted posture that's safe for beginners: 1. Stand up straight and, without forcing anything, bend forward and try to place your head on your knees with the palms of your hands on the floor. Very few men or women can actually do this, especially beginners.

2. Now stand up again, separate your feet to hip width, and bend forward, allowing your legs to bend until you can place your hands on the floor and almost touch your head to your knees. Bending your legs is perfectly acceptable. As you become more flexible and you will! gradually straighten your legs until you can come closer to the ideal posture. A common lower back injury occurs when weekend warriors, inspired by young agile instructors, try to do the seated version of the straightlegged forward bend and push too far. Approaching Yoga with open eyes Should you keep your eyes open or closed during Yoga practice? If you're comfortable with your eyes closed, then close them. You may feel more focused and able to hear your body's signals. However, standing and balancing postures require you to keep your eyes open.

With a little practice, you can stay focused even with your eyes open. In general, Yoga practitioners favor an open-eyed approach to life's challenges. They like to know what's in front of them, and therefore execute the postures with open eyes. Seasoned meditators, by the way, can enter into deep meditation without shutting their eyes, though don't be surprised if they have a blank look; they have effectively withdrawn their awareness from external reality and are happily conscious at a different level. You can expect to experience something of this attitude as you master the various postures and breathing exercises.

Read more: Hello, I about two years ago began to assiduously practice yoga first with a soon single professor. Throughout this time I have learned much on my body and the importance of the conscious breathing. So I animate all to people to practice yoga as therapeutic methode and of happiness. Good, the question; When I practice sirsasana or sarvangasana, where the legs are raised for some time, after finding the position relaxed the legs begin to shake. Normally I concentrate much tension in the legs during the day. Trembling goes growing if I allow it; it is as if I decided to shake or not to shake; why it can pass that? Thanks Trembling legs i refer you to another recent subject - trembling. This is either a sign of nervous system being discharged of tension from tight muscles holding the nerves within their body or Shakti awakenign of prana. The trembling is a sign of good practice in either way. One needs to be free of the accumulated stresses of life no matter when or how they accumulated. Inverted positions as a general category of poses are known as Viparita Karani Kriya or Mudra. Technically this translates to "Purification due inverted actions". AS the Kriya level occurs there is purification on any o fthe dimensions of self -- physiucal, emotional, mental, pranic. Once this level has completed its purification then it becomes a Mudra. Nudra is experienced as a profoudn stillness a deep inward turning that is beyond the level of asana. Asana is #3 of Patanjali's 8 limbed Asthanga system; this Mudra is level 5 or pratyahara. It occurs when asana and pranayama have spontaneously arisen as body stillness then breath stillness. I encourage you to continue to allow trembling to occur and gently move toward the deeper levels of Classical Yoga as described in Yoga Sutras. blessings. mukunda Shaky or trembling muscles You might find that, during a pose, one or more of your muscles starts

"twitching" or "trembling" or a type of spasmodic shake. It can feel as if you are weak or lacking in strength - when in fact this is a good indication that this is exactly when your muscles are actively retraining themselves! It takes at least 10 seconds of holding a pose to gain 100% recruitment of all the muscle fibers - after which you are "trying to go somewhere you haven't been before" (I so love that phrase one of my best teachers uses!). At some point your muscles cannot hold the position they have been "fully recruited" for and release. Then as you consciously re-recruit them while continuing the pose, they will go spasmodically backwards and forwards between fully engaged then releasing - hey presto here's the trembling! So this is purely building your stamina and can come and go as you build your body's expectations of your own muscle power. So when I am shaking and trembling in a pose - I am very proud that something is changing!