Like most asanas, this asana has multiple names. In your “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE” textbook you will see this asana referred to as Supported Bound Angle Pose. However, your “YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH” textbook refers to this asana as Supta Baddhakonasana or Reclining Fixed Angle Pose. Below are some additional names you may hear:
- Cobbler Pose
- Butterfly Pose
- Diamond Pose
- Tailor Pose
- Bhadrasana (The Posture of the Throne)
This asana is a beginner to intermediate pose depending on how tight your inner thighs and knees are. With that in mind, this asana does tend to be a little difficult for most students. Because of this, your textbook provides 5 variations of this asana so that you can assist your students in finding the most comfortable variation. When a student is able to properly and safely practice this asana, there are many benefits that can be gained. Below is a list of some of those benefits.
• Stretches and stretches the neck, shoulders, chest, hips, groin, throughout the entire spine and back, abdomen, inner and outer thighs, quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, ankles, and knees.
• Lengthens the inner and outer thighs and improves flexibility.
• Opens the chest and is therapeutic for students with asthma.
• Helps soothe menstrual discomfort and can correct irregular menstruation.
• Helps women preparing for birth by strengthening the muscles so they feel less pain during delivery and helps with reproductive health.
• Keeps internal organs like the bladder, liver, kidneys, spleen, prostate, and urinary track healthy as well as helps with digestion and improves circulation.
• Can help relieve sciatica pain through the legs.
• Reduces fatigue and relieves headaches.
• Relieves mild depression, stress and anxiety.
• Helps ease menopausal discomfort.
• Can be therapeutic for tired feet and high blood pressure.
• Prepares the body for seated meditation.
Now that we understand the benefits of this asana, watch the below video for a visual aid on practicing the traditional variation of this asana along with a picture which provides cueing information. Understanding the alignment of this traditional asana (Bound Angle Pose) will help in aligning your students in the Restorative Yoga variation, Supported Bound Angle Pose.
Let’s now look at examples of practicing the Restorative version of this asana, Supported Bound Angle Pose and Reclining Crossed Legged Pose. The first video demonstrates Supported Bound Angle Pose using a bolster, blankets, and a strap like Option 3 in your textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE”. The second in a variation, that is referred to as Reclining Crossed Legged Pose in this video, utilizes a bolster and blocks to get into the pose, similar to Option 4 in the text.
The video above demonstrates one of the variation that can be used to relax into this asana. And although your textbooks provides information on the various Restorative Yoga variations and modifications to this asana, see below for a complied list for easy reference.
• For students with a hip, knee, or groin injury, use a folded blanket, block, pillow, and/or bolster under the knees for support. This modification can also be used for pregnant students.
• For beginners, place a blanket, a block, and/or a bolster under the buttock to elevate and support the hips. This gives the spine extra height and allows the knees to comfortably come towards the mat.
• For students with tight hamstrings, use a strap under the outer edges of the feet (above the heels) and gently pull the strap toward you. This puts less stress on the hips and knees and keeps the back straight. Alternatively, you can also place the strap around the lower back (on the sacrum) and bring it around the front over the thighs. Wrap around under the outer edges of the feet and gently tighten the strap.
• For students with back problems, have them sit with their back against a wall for support, or sit with buttock and legs up against the wall.
• For advanced students who would like to get a deeper stretch, they can try to open the soles of their feet like a book and bend forward.
Note: This asana has many benefits, however, students can injure themselves if they try and force this asana or practice it incorrectly (whether they practice the traditional or restorative variation). Because of this, it is important that we understand the contraindications for it. See below for a list of items to watch out for.
1. Students with severe knee and hip injuries/inflammation, lower back pain, or a groin injury should avoid this pose. If a student does want to do this posture, they should do one of the modifications and use props.
2. Do not push or force the knees down to the mat.
3. Students with sciatica should avoid this pose without access to props.
4. Students with a displaced or prolapsed uterus should not practice this pose.
Lastly, see below for a breakdown of the chakras that are affected by this asana along with how it affects the doshic balance of the body.
Vata This dosha is balanced in this asana.
Pitta This dosha is decreased in this asana.
Kapha This dosha is decreased in this asana.
Additional information on this asana
- In the textbook “YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH by B.K.S. Iyengar
- CHAPTER 5: YOGA FOR STRESS
- Asanas for Stress
- Supta Baddhakonasana (Reclining fixed angle pose)
- Asanas for Stress
- CHAPTER 5: YOGA FOR STRESS