Modifying Reclining Bound Angle Pose

One of the most relaxing things we can do is lay down, feel the connection to ground beneath us, and breathe.  This is amplified if we can do it outside, connecting to the earth itself.  Reclining Bound Angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) is a wonderful to do just that.

To get into Reclining Bound Angle, lie down on your back, with the bottoms of your feet touching and pulled in close to the body, and knees dropped out to the sides, allowing the legs to open into a diamond shape.  Allow gravity to help your body settle into this pose.  Feel the connection to the ground beneath.  Feel how the ground supports you, allowing your muscles to completely let go.  Let go of the tightness, the tension, and the stress.  This is a pose you could likely remain in for quite some time…and the longer the better if you are feeling stressed.

But what if there’s something about this pose that doesn’t feel good?  What if my hips are super tight or I have low back issues?  Fortunately there are a variety of great ways to modify Reclining Bound Angle pose.  So if you don’t normally enjoy this pose, try one of these modification ideas:

  1. Place supports under the outsides of the legs – you can use blocks, bolsters, and/or blankets to support the outside of the thighs, relieving tight hips and groin muscles
  • Create an incline using a bolster and/or blocks – to relieve discomfort in your low back, rather than lying flat on the floor you may want to recline back onto a folded blanket or bolster or create a “yoga recliner” (use two blocks – one standing tall and the other lying flat right in front of the tall block – then place a thinner bolster on an incline with the top of the bolster leaning on that tall block and the other end of the bolster on the floor…be sure that not too much of the bolster is hanging beyond the tall bolster or your yoga recliner will likely collapse when you recline your upper body onto it)
  • Adjust the proximity of the feet to the body – while we normally aim to bring the feet as close to the body in this pose as we can, if that doesn’t feel good allow the feet to slide away from the body until you reach position that is comfortable.

Try one or more of these modifications so that you can enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful stress relieving and grounding pose.  Don’t be afraid to be like Goldilocks – tweak things until they are just right.  Then relax, chill out, and enjoy!


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