One of my all-time favorite poses to soothe any number of physical or mental ills, is supported Supta Baddha Konasana or reclined bound angle pose. I incorporate this pose in every restorative class I teach, and sometimes as a treat at the end of a regular mat class. I learned the pose during teacher training, and it’s absolutely ‘delicious’ to quote one of my students.
This restorative pose is especially beneficial for people with breathing problems as it opens the chest and relaxes the intercostal muscles between the ribs. It also helps to alleviate menstrual pain, and calms the mind. New Day Yoga did a great job of explaining how to set up for this relaxing pose.
- Sit in front of short end of bolster with it touching tailbone.
- Bend knees, place feet on floor.
- Place soles of feet together, let knees fall to sides.
- Place a block under each outer thigh even if you don’t “need” to. (You want to completely support weight of legs so that you experience no traction in the sacral ligaments, which are extremely vulnerable in this position.)
- Use strap to hold feet in position. Place strap around sacrum, between knees, and over the outsides of feet.
- Use arms for support as you gently lie down.
- Alt. A: Increase height by adding a blanket .
- Alt. B: Decrease height by using a blanket instead of bolster.
- Alt. C: Position a long-rolled blanket under each arm to relieve stretch in neck and arms.
- Place a blanket under neck and head.
- Relax abdomen, open chest.
- Place an eye pillow over eyes.Practice the Centering Breath while in the pose.Coming Back:
- Let the outside world come slowly into your awareness.
- Take in the sounds around you; pay attention to the sensations of your body.
- Remove eye pillow. Slowly open eyes.
- Undo strap, and slide down one foot, then the other, to straighten legs.
- Roll to one side. Rest a few breaths. Then sit up.Benefits:
- Helps those with high blood pressure and breathing problems
- Helpful for women during menstruation and menopauseCaution:
- For disc disease in low back or chronic sacroiliac dysfunction, lower the height of props.
- For pinched nerve or disc disease in neck, carefully support head and neck.
- For knee injury, use props under thighs and don’t hold pose too long.
Sink into this pose for as long as 10-30 minutes if you’re comfortable, come out slowly, and transition into meditation for the ultimate blissful experience.
– Your Charmed Yogi
(Photo: Yoga Poses Online)