HOW TO PRACTICE Reclining Bound Angle Pose IN YOGA (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Benefits, How to Instructions, Modifications, and Common Alignment Mistakes for Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Modern living has us all moving at lightning speed. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and highly stressed. A vacation sounds like just the ticket—relaxing on the beach, no worries or responsibilities weighing you down.
Even if a beach vacation is not in your immediate plans, Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Sanskrit name: Supta Baddha Konasana) may be the next best thing. It’s one of the best Restorative Yoga poses to send you into a state of deep relaxation. Just imagine the warm sun beating down on you, the sounds of waves crashing on the beach. We recommend on particularly stressful days to try one or more Restorative Yoga poses. You may find that this yoga posture is as relaxing (or more!) than that dreamy beach vacation!
Supta Baddha Konasana is a asana with many manifestations. There are very simple and very complex versions of this yoga pose. What you choose on a given day depends on how much comfort you want, as well as the amount of time (and props) you have available. Be sure to check out the Yoga 2.0 Tab for some of our favorite variations of this supremely relaxing yoga posture.
Judith Hanson Lasater, a pioneer and major authority in the field of restorative yoga, writes of her experience in this pose reflecting what Patanjali described in his Yoga Sutras as hiranyagarbha or “the great golden womb of the universe”:
“Patanjali teaches that the entire universe is held within this golden womb. As we practice Supported Bound Angle Pose, we are reminded of this primordial place of complete rest and ultimate protection.” – Judith Hanson Lasater
Benefits of Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Supta Baddha Konasana is a Restorative Yoga pose that reduces stress and tension in the body and mind. It is a wonderfully relaxing pose that is accessible to most yoga practitioners. The position of the legs lengthens the inner thigh muscles, aiding in releasing the hip flexors, and lower back. Lying down with the spine supported also expands the front body, creating more space in the abdominal cavity for the breath to lengthen and deepen.
Practicing this yoga pose is very soothing for the mind and nervous system. This asana also stimulates the organs in the abdomen, which may improve digestion. Some experience a reduction of menstrual cramps and other menstrual symptoms.
Basic Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Props needed: 1 or 2 yoga blankets; 2 blocks
- Start by rolling your blanket up into a long roll, ideally as long as your spine. Have your yoga blocks nearby.
- Sit at one end of your blanket roll with your sacrum touching the end of it.
- Lie back onto the roll, making sure that your low and middle spine, as well as your head, are supported.
- If your head is falling off the back edge of your blanket, sit up and reroll it so that it’s long enough to support your spine and head. You can also add a second blanket and/or pillow to create enough support for your head.
- If you’ve placed extra support under your head, notice if your head is much higher than your chest. If so, make the support under your head smaller so your head is in line with your spine.
- Place the soles of your feet together, and let your knees open out to the side.
- Place one block under each thigh. Adjust the blocks to whatever height allows your legs to feel completely supported.
- Rest your arms a comfortable distance from your sides with your palms facing upward.
- Sink into the yoga pose, taking several deep breaths. Inhale through your nose, and exhale out your mouth. Imagine releasing tension in your chest, hips, shoulders and face as you exhale. Scan your body for any remaining tension and consciously let it go.
- Allow your breath to relax into its own natural rhythm. Hold the pose for up to 20 minutes.
- When you’re ready to come out, bring your knees together and carefully roll off the blanket and onto your side. Take a few breaths on your side before pushing yourself up to a seated position.