Baddha Konasana (BAH-dah cone-AHS-anna)
baddha = bound
kona = angle
(AKA Bound Angle or Butterfly Pose)
Bound angle, or Baddha Konasana, is an excellent asana to practice for freeing up tight hips. The external rotation at the hip stretches the groins and inner thighs (more specifically the five adductor muscles: the pectineus, the adductor brevis, the adductor longus, the adductor magnus and the gracilis). These muscles can become tight from prolonged sitting, cycling, running or lack of activity. This is an overview on how to get into the pose safely, and open those hips!
- Sit with the legs extended in front of you, bend at the knees taking the heels toward your hips, then gently release the knees out to the sides and seal the soles of the feet together
- Before folding forward, Pause & Observe: Is the back rounded? Are the knees high? Consider raising your pelvis on a blanket to find the top of the sits bones and full length of the spine. For some, sitting upright might be plenty of a stretch–listen to the signals from your body.
- If you are relatively comfortable upright, ground down through he sitting bones, take a full inhale to lift the chest, and on a steady exhale slowly hinge at the hips to draw the chest forward.
To create lasting change, hold the stretch at your edge, not going too deep but not running away from sensation.
If you push too deeply, too quickly, there will be a reflex that prevents the fibers from re-setting and lengthening. Search for a “happy” medium that allows for an on-going stretch. Also, don’t forget to breathe! Conscious, calm breath is key to affecting the physiology. If the sympathetic nervous system is “flexed” there will be no gains in flexibility! Tune into the breathe and hold 1-5 minutes, everyday.
Happy Hip Opening! Learn more yoga poses through the All Good Health guides here.