Saturday, April 10, 2010

Yoga Pose: Baddha Konasana

Spring is here! With all of it’s fickle weather that will have you smiling into the sun one minute, and running for cover from a hailstorm the next. Spring is such a tease, and it’s a time of wild transition that leaves most folks feeling a little spacey.

Time to get grounded!
At this time of year, most of us are trying to quickly shed our winter coats that may have settled around the mid section and the hips, creating some stiffness and discomfort. Baddha Konasana is one of the most perfect poses to gently stretch your inner thighs, groin and knees that will keep you flexible from your mid morning run or post winter soccer try outs. This pose is also soothing for menstrual pain and sciatica.

Here we go:
I suggest that you warm up with a few down dogs or vinyasa first to heat the large muscle groups of the body. Then, before you sit down on your mat, grab a blanket and fold it up like a burrito. Sit your sit bones on the edge of the “burrito” so your pelvic bone can tilt forward and give the knees, hips and inner thighs more room to stretch, especially if you have a tight low back. Once you are in position, bring the soles of the feet together, and draw your heels up as close to the groin as possible. From there, you can grab your feet, shimmy your sit bones back a touch, and round forward over your feet.

All together now.
Let’s put this pose together with a few others now for a little feel good sequence, that includes forward bending to kick in the relaxation response, and a mini back bend to fire up your nervous system and bring your forward bends into balance.

1. Sit on your “burrito” blanket in a cross-legged seat, for a seated twist. Bring the opposite hand to knee, and exhale on the twist.
2. Bring the soles of feet together for Baddha Konasana and sit in this pose for a minute.
3. Then, plant your feet on your mat about hip width, palms flat on the floor behind you, and lift your hips for Table Top pose. It is a half back bend.
4. Drop your hips back down on your “burrito” and extend your legs straightforward, bending at the hips for a forward bend.

Do this sequence 3x slowly after a run, or your workout, and you will feel amazing. Guaranteed.

Written by Tonja Renee Hall
Yoga Instructor, Seattle Athletic Club Downtown

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