|Reclining Bound Angle Pose|
To do the pose: move into Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclining Bound Angle Pose as a preparatory pose in order to gently warm-up the hips. Stay in the pose for 3-5 full-rounds of breath (one inhale and one exhale count as one round).
Come to sit on the edge of a blanket or towel. Option to sit against a wall for stability and in order to keep the spine erect. Come to a seated position with the legs bent and soles of the feet on the ground. Bring the palms behind the back and sit tall. Gently cross the right leg on top of the left, bringing the right ankle to rest on the left thigh, creating the shape of the number four.
You can stay here in a seated figure four pose and gently release the right knee downward in order to gradually open the hip or you can swing the left ankle under the right knee. Align the right ankle or the knife-edge of the foot over the left knee and left ankle or the knife-edge of the foot under the right knee. Bring the shins to parallel if possible, stacking the shins on top of each other. Flex the toes towards the face in order to protect the knee joints. Gently draw the knees energetically, away and downward, while taking slow and smooth breaths with intention.
Keep the spine tall, drawing the shoulder-blades down the back and relax the face and jaws. Be patient and allow gravity and the breath to open the hips over time. Stay here and breath for 3-5 full rounds of breath. (One inhale and one exhale completes one-round of breath).
Option to gently lean forward with a flat-back. Take an inhale breath and sit tall, lifting more through the chest and expand through the area in the collarbones. On an exhale, draw the shoulders down the back. Inhale, and begin to hinge forward with a tall-flat back, leading with the heart and chest. (This motion can be very slight in order to feel more sensation in the hips).
Stop when you feel sensation and breathe. Repeat the pose on the other side, using the same mindfulness and breath.
You may notice that one side feels tighter than the other. You may even notice that one day feels different than another. This is the beauty of yoga, each day we come to our mat is different. If we are honest with ourselves and practice, “satya” or truth and honesty, as well as “ahimsa” or non-violence, both on a physical and mental level, we will become more aware of the “messages” our body and mind is sending us. When we “listen,” we can learn a lot about ourselves, and how we handle and deal with stress, challenges and even joy in our lives.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If
a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga
IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. We have also added a new Meditation class on Wed. evenings, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.