Your Monthly Yoga Pose
Baddha means caught or restrained. Kona means angle. Baddha konasana simply means “restrained angle.” However, it is referred to as cobbler’s pose (sometimes butterfly pose) as the cobblers in India sit in this posture while working.
According to B.K.S. Iyengar, author of Light on Yoga, cobbler’s pose is excellent for those suffering from urinary disorders because the pelvis, the back, and the abdomen receive a plentiful supply of blood and are stimulated. Iyengar also says it relieves sciatic pain and prevents hernia when practiced regularly. As with any exercise, please consult your doctor before beginning to practice. Having said that, baddha konasana is a gentler posture that is available to nearly every yogi.
In addition to blood flow to the pelvis area and tension relief in the sciatic nerve, cobbler’s pose is an excellent posture for meditation. The posture is open yet grounding. Iyengar recommends placing the palms together at the heart for meditation in this posture; ultimately, hand placement is a personal preference during meditation.
- Sit with the legs extended in front of you.
- Bring the heels in toward the center of the body as close to the perineum as possible.
- Bring the soles of the feet and the heels together, wrapping your hands around the outer edges of your feet.
- Widen your thighs and lower your knees as close to the floor as possible.
- A modification for knees that are very high up is to sit on a block to relieve tension in the hips.
- Sit up straight while grounding the hip bones to the earth (or block).
- Allow your gaze to get lost in the space at the tip of your nose and calmly breathe, holding the pose for as long as you can.
- If you would like to deepen or increase sensation, place the elbows near the thighs.
- As you exhale, begin to hinge at the hips.
- While keeping an erect spine, bring your belly button toward your feet and, ultimately, your chin toward the ground.
- Stay for 3-10 breaths.
- Inhale as you sit up.
- Release the grip of the feet and extend the legs.
Baddha konasana is an accessible posture that can be incorporated into your daily yoga or stretch practice.