Each month, we highlight one fundamental yoga pose that can help improve your overall practice. We will break down each pose, show you how to get into it safely, highlight its benefits and offer some pro tips!
The yoga pose of June is Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Bound Angle.
Learn the basics:
Supta Baddha Konasana is an amazing and transformative asana. It is a cooling, relaxing restorative pose that opens the hips, and if done with a support behind the back, it also serves as a heart opener. Students of all levels and limitations can safely practice the pose, especially when props are used. While in the shape, gravity works to deepen the stretch in your hip flexors and hips as your mind clears and relaxes, bringing you into a deep union of body, mind and spirit. It is especially beneficial to students who require cooling like menopausal and pregnant women, and students who are suffering from low back and hip discomforts, sleeplessness, and anxiety. It also just feels plain amazing!
Pregnant students should never lie fully flat on their backs, so props must be used. Other students will benefit from the use of props. To lift the back, use two blocks at the rear of the mat to form a capital ‘L’, placing a bolster on top to make a ramp. Students can use a rolled blanket or second bolster to support the knees. Other students may benefit from blocks or a rolled up blanket under each knee to reduce the strain on the groin. Blankets over the body, eye pillows and the use of essential oils are also beneficial. There should be no tension in the body when in this shape.
- If you are using props (which is highly recommended to sustain the posture for several minutes), set them up in preparation for coming fully on to your back.
- Bend your knees, keeping the soles of your feet on the floor. Slowly come on to your back or supportive props.
- Open your knees out to either side and bring the soles of your feet together. Use any additional props to aid your relaxation.
- Place your arms in any comfortable position – arms at sides with palms up, arms at sides with palms down, arms overhead, arms on your belly following the path of your breath, etc.
- Stay here several minutes as gravity works to deepen your stretch. You may begin with a controlled pranayama practice and then release the breath halfway through the pose to completely surrender. If you are practicing at home, set a timer for five or 10 minutes so you can completely relax.
- To come out, draw the hands to the knees and allow them to sway left and right to release the hips. Roll over to the side (left for pregnant students), and use your hands to support you as you sit up.
- Finish with your hands on your heart in reverence for the practice.
- Bring all that juicy goodness with you through the rest of your day off the mat!
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