BADDHA KONASANA - A classic pose seated on the floor known as bound angle pose or cobbler’s pose.
Stage 1 Coming into Baddha Konasana
Sit with back erect and legs straight out in front of you, then bend the knees and bring the heels as close as possible to the pelvic floor.
Exhale, allow the knees to open out to the sides and bring the soles and heels of the feet into contact with each other.
Catch the feet with the hands and again allow the knees and thighs to go down towards the floor.
Straighten the spine as best you can and look straight ahead with the eyes relaxed.
Maintain the pose and breath normally for 1-2 minutes.
Exhale and return to the original position.
Stage 2 Opening the hips
Placing your feet on a block helps to further open the hips.
Stage 3 Using the belt to connect with the feet
Stage 3a An open belt under the feet helps to straighten the spine and open the chest, feel this and learn to do with less assistance from the belt to hold the pose from your own actions.
Stage 3b A belt under the feet with straps crossed over helps to reconnect the soles of the feet, again learn to do this without the help of the belt.
Now revisit the classic pose seated that you started with and compare.
Stage 4 Progression with a brick between the feet
To progress the pose and further open the groins (cautiously):
Place a brick between the feet: first, narrow, then wide, then long as shown. Note it is important to revisit each stage of this process with the brick wide then again narrow before returning to the classic pose.
The benefits of Baddha Konasana
Baddha konasana benefits all the pelvic organs with an enhanced circulation, and so connects more with what is considered to be the water element (ap) of our constitution in yoga. This further flows into to the joints of the hips, knees and ankles bringing an ease of movement.
The work in this pose (as with most poses) engages the pelvic floor or what is known in terms of energetic points as the muladhara chakra.
With practice a freedom comes in the body with baddha konasana so that there is also a soothing effect for the nerves and mind.
Any questions you may have in practising this please ask your teacher.