Monday, February 22, 2010

DIY Restorative: Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose)

Also known as "Reclined Goddess Pose"

I love this pose for SO many reasons. I will get into more detail about the posture and it's benefits in a moment. First let's discuss what you will need.

1) Padding/Support for under your knees: The goal here is to have your knees resting on something so there will be no strain in this restorative posture. If you have yoga blocks/bricks (I have one under my head in the photos, for reference) great! If not, any number of items you can find around your house will do just fine. You can see in the photo I've used two stacks of books. You could also use pillows, folded blankets or towels. Be creative!!!

2) Padding/Support for your back, shoulders, neck and head: In the photo you will see I used two blankets and a foam yoga block. Basically you want a little lift; 4-6 inches or so, to make this a bit of a gentle back bend. Again, be creative and don't be afraid to experiment. It may take you a few tries to find the right combination.

So, now you have all your props ready to go, and you are ready to settle into this delicious restorative posture!

Sit about an inch in front of your back/neck support with knees bent and feet on the floor. (have your knee support nearby)

Bring the soles of your feet to touch and allow your knees to fall open to either side, and come to rest on their support.

Now, gently lower your back, shoulders, neck and head to rest on the support you have created for yourself.

Lift your hips slightly, then lightly place them back onto the floor. This should alleviate lower back pain (if any) by combing your buttocks flesh toward your heels.

You may place your hands in any of the positions shown, close your eyes. Settle in, breathe, and let gravity do it's job. Surrender your body to the support and breathe into your blossoming rib cage.

If you find it hard to relax, you may try this breathing exercise:

Inhale for 3 counts, and then exhale on 6 counts, noticing the pause between breaths at the bottom of your exhale.

Stay for at least 3-5 minutes. To come out gently roll off your props, to your right side, and press your self up to sit.

This pose is especially beneficial for relieving menstrual pain in women. But, not to worry boys, there are a myriad more benefits for both men and women! It's great for digestion, and as I mentioned this version is also a gentle back bend; so don't be surprised if you feel a jolt of energy when you come out of the posture! Supta Baddha Konasana relieves sciatic pain and open up the inner groins. Practicing this restorative posture will help you immensely in your asana practice with postures like Padmasana (Lotus Pose) and Vrksasana (Tree Pose). Also, as always, your restorative practice stimulates the "relaxation" response of the nervous system. This allows the body to slow down and just "BE". Even if it's just for a few minutes a day, this practice will have an enormous impact on your regular asana practice and in life.

Namaste (The divine in me bows to the divine in you)


  1. I've found most sciatic pain is a result of a rotated pelvis. This happens as a result of asymmetrical movement or muscle tightness. This is usually a simple fix.
    Thanks for your article.
    Rick Olderman

  2. Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?