Supta Baddha Konasana: Reclining or Supported Bound-Angle Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana: Reclining or Supported Bound-Angle Pose

Writing: Chrisandra Fox

Photography: Faern

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. — Jalal ad-Din Rumi

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Oscar Wilde

Many of us come to yoga because we are seeking. We may want greater strength or flexibility. We may desire mental balance and a sense of increased wellness and peace. We may seek enlightenment. We may not know what we are seeking, but that yoga gives us a direct experience of the unnamable, something perhaps described as the “lightness of being”.

And many of us, through our practices, are very simply longing to remember, again and again, a most basic force: love.

In our fast-paced technologically-based culture, where the intellect is often over-used and abused, it’s easy to forget that we are love, that love is our nature.

One of the most common requests in yoga classes is “heart-opening”. How can we keep the heart-mind open and receptive to all that life offers – remembering that love is as intrinsic to our being as our breath – when we daily see all the possible fluctuations that one can experience in identity, love, relationship, work, money and state of mind? When we become disconnected from the deep presence of the heart and the unconditional love that is the very connective tissue of our being, we often seek forms of love and intimacy outside ourselves. Chocolate hearts anyone?

This month’s pose will give you an opportunity to meditate upon the taste of radical self-love. A regular practice of Supta Baddha Konasana can help open tight hips, the abdomen, chest and shoulders, among other gifts. Often referred to as “the Queen’s Pose”, the reclining or supported bound-angle pose is deeply nourishing and so relaxing it’s almost luxurious. It’s not surprising that this pose is used to support pregnant and menstruating women for it’s many gems, including relaxing the abdomen, relieving lower back pain and cramps, and encouraging deep relaxation.

You may find that experiencing a “quiet mind” in a deeply relaxed state allows you liberate the bliss of your being. As you practice, listen to your breath and to its resounding call in the chambers of your heart – the sweet sound of self-love you’ve known all along.

The Pose

*You’ll use a bolster, thick pillow or several neatly folded blankets and two extra blankets for your practice. An eye pillow can greatly enhance your experience.

Arrange the bolster or neatly folded blankets lengthwise on your mat. Place a blanket folded a few inches thick at the far end of the bolster. Roll the second blanket in a thin, long roll. You’ll use this to support your thighs.

Sit on the floor with your pelvis at one end of the bolster. Bring the soles of your feet together, in Baddha Konasana (Bound angle pose).

Place the thinly-rolled blanket on the inner edges of your feet, wrap it around your outer ankles and draw it under your outer thighs to support the opening of your legs.

Press both hands into the floor and lie back on the bolster, with your head supported by the blanket.

*If your thighs lift high off the floor, place a pillow or bolster beneath each thigh for greater support.

Bring your hands to your upper buttocks flesh and “push” it down and away from your low back. Draw your shoulder blades down your back. Turn your palms to face up, and stretch your arms out to the sides. You can also rest your hands gently on your belly, and allow your hands to radiate warmth as your belly gently expands and releases with the movement of your breath.

Close your eyes, and if you like, cover them with an eye pillow or a towel. Slow down your breath, take a long slow exhalation, followed by a long slow inhalation of the same length. Use this breath rhythm to calm your mind and to relax your body into the shape of the pose.

Gradually, you can release control of your breath, and witness its rhythm as your body becomes more relaxed. Keep your belly soft and receptive. Notice the sensations in your body, your hips, thighs, belly, chest, shoulders, neck, throat.

Supta Baddha Konasana is a pose that encourages receptivity and allows us to relax into the experience of receiving. You may focus your attention gently in your heart center. Listen to the sound of your breath, feel the sensations of your breath in the space of your heart. After some time, begin to notice the pauses or the spaces between your inhalation and your exhalations. These pauses may happen quite naturally. Linger in the pauses, without straining or punching your breath.

When you are ready to come out, bring your hands to your outer thighs and press your thighs together. Gently come up and sit for a moment, soak up the nourishment of resting in and receiving your own blissful awareness.

Chrisandra Fox teaches six weekly classes at Yoga Tree, Yoga Garden and leads The Heart of Renewal Retreats in California and beyond. She teaches in Yoga Tree’s 200-hour Teacher Training.

Faern is a mixed media artist, photographer and yoga practitioner in San Francisco. Visit her website, follow her on Twitter, or like her on Facebook.

One Response to “Supta Baddha Konasana: Reclining or Supported Bound-Angle Pose”
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  1. […] Photography: Faern you can view this post here as well where ONLY ‘Pose of the Month’ posts are: NEW~> Pose of the Month Site […]

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