Monday, October 20, 2014

Supta Baddha Konasana

Every teacher knows that collective sigh of relief and enjoyment when the pose Supta Baddha Konasana is called out.

The most common way I know to set up for SBK is this one:
A looped strap placed low down on the sacrum, then looped around the feet.  Support under the lower ribs and head (usually a bolster and a blanket, but folded blankets work just as well).  This is the one that creates those sighs of relief. 

However, it takes some time to set up, and some people have trouble getting the strap at the right place on their sacrum.  They may feel pinching in the lower back or just suffer through the pose.  So here is an alternative:
Place the feet at the wall with the toes separated and lie down.  The wall holds the feet in place and keeps them from sliding like the strap does.  I'm showing here without support under my back, but support should be added for those that need it.

Here's another one:
This one is more like sitting Baddha Konasana and is great for anyone that doesn't like SBK because of the feeling in the lower back.  It's a great hip opener in its own right.

The pose can also be changed to suit the stretch.

Place a block under the feet.  For some it will make the pose more comfortable, those that feel it more in the lower back; for others, it will be less comfortable, those that feel it in the inner thigh.  The block could be at the wall too, to stop the feet from running away, but it would take some careful measuring.

What about making the pose more uncomfortable for everyone?  Here you go:
Raise the hips and the feet.  This is just supported Setu Bandha with the feet in Baddha Konasana: a SBS/SBK hybrid.  It somehow manages to take any comfort out of either pose.

And now my new favorite way to do SBK - prone.  I learned this from Arun this past summer.  I can't get enough of it.

Place a belt just like regular SBK, but bring the belt as low down as possible on the buttocks.  Please ignore the strap you see going over my leg; it is the tail and has nothing to do with placement of the strap.  Pretty amazing.  If you are a little tight, like my husband, your pose may look more like this:
The feet come up until the hips finally open.

How do you come out of this?  As best you can.

If you leave your set-up unattended, someone might come and take it.

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