Supta Baddhakonasana

Opening the heart

Supta Baddhakonasana

My favourite yoga prop is a bolster and my favourite pose with a bolster is Supta Baddhakonasana (reclined bound angle pose) as pictured above. It is a wonderful shoulder (and heart) and hip opener and it's also a very restful pose beneficial for everyone as it improves blood circulation in the abdomen, massaging and toning the abdominal organs.

 
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Bolster

Bolsters support your body while enabling you to relax and stretch effectively without strain. Yoga bolsters are usually placed under your back in prone positions, to aid relaxation or sat on (like riding a horse) to take the strain off your knees and ankles in the kneeling yoga poses.  They can also simply be used to provide padding wherever needed. I prefer the cylindrical-shaped bolster pictured above which you can purchase online.

 

Posture explained

To come into the pose start seated, place a bolster behind your back and place the soles of the feet together.

Let the knees drop to either side (place blocks or other padding underneath if the stretch is uncomfortable, remember you want to hold the pose for a while) and then recline onto the bolster.

Opening the arms leaving them resting on the floor (or on padding, be mindful nothing hurts) it is a wonderful heart-opener. This might feel tight at first, as many of us have tight shoulders from working with computers, but if you do this every day for 10-15 minutes it will start releasing the tension from your chest and shoulders.

Like in every yoga pose, keep breathing deeply and consciously to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and to relax.

Click here for a great page in the Yoga Journal

 
But a yogi never forgets that health must begin with the body. Your body is the child of the soul. You must nourish and train your child. Physical health is not a commodity to be bargained for. Nor can it be swallowed in the form of drugs and pills. It has to be earned through sweat.
— B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom