YogaAndBackCare - Baddha konasana

Baddha konasana

Baddha konasana ( Baddha .. Sanskrit for bound ... Kona .. Sanskrit for Angle) is often called the Cobbler's Pose and when I was first taught it by a male teacher, he cheerfully told us that the level of Prostate Cancer in Indian Cobblers is very low and it is because they sit in this posture much of the day. I have never seen any statistics to justify this sweeping statement but who knows?

This is a pose that enables you to hold a mediation or a breathing sequence. You feel grounded and balanced.

In theory, you sit. You place the sole of one foot against the sole of the other, You allow your knees to go down to the ground and your thighs and legs are supported by Mother Earth.

In practise, life is never quite so simple.

For a start make sure you are on your sitting bones and that if you have gently persuaded any flesh under your buttocks to move towards the back of you. This will enable you to sit on the sitting bones, the ischial tuberosities, one each at the bottom of the right and left ischium, bones in your pelvic girdle.

You want to have your back upright. When you begin, it may be worth sitting on a block to help you lift the back upwards. You can always sit against a wall, putting your buttocks as close to the wall as possible and then trying to keep the entire back against the wall. Please don't panic, there should be a slight gap around the waist area but the shoulders should be against the wall.

This pupil has a beautifully upright back in Baddha Konasana

This opens up your chest.

If your knees do not drop to the side, relax. One pupil wondering how to look serene when practising Baddha Konasana If they never reach the ground it does not matter. This pose will help open up the groin and little by little you will see an improvement. Please use blocks under your thighs to take their weight so you can simply enjoy sitting in this posture.

We sometimes practise as a group of four. The pupils practising the posture are back to back and this enables them to achieve a good back posture. They each have a helper who gently presses down on the pupils' thighs, should they feel the body begin to relax and yield. They never, ever force or push their partners's thighs and at all times the pupils holding the posture can give feedback.

One heavily pregnant lady practising Baddha Konasana

Baddha konasana is good for relieving menstrual pain and is worth practising in preparation for childbirth. The opening effect across the lumbar area can reduce sciatic pain. It is believed that the posture can help restore fertility and that it helps remove mild depression, anxiety and fatigue.