Do you want to learn how to do a supported supta baddha konasana? This is a great yoga pose for beginners. It is a relaxing and restorative pose that can help relieve stress and tension. In this blog post, we will show you how to do the pose step by step. We will also discuss the benefits and contraindications of the pose.
Relieves stress and tension: This pose is very calming and relaxing. It can help to relieve stress and tension from the mind and body.
Stretches the inner thighs and groin: This pose helps to stretch the inner thighs and groin muscles.
Opens the hips: This pose helps to open up the hips and release any tightness in the hip area.
Improves digestion: This pose massages the digestive organs and can help to improve digestion.
Relieves back pain: This pose can help to relieve back pain by stretching the back muscles.
Contraindications of supta baddha konasana
There are a few contraindications to be aware of before doing this pose, including:
If you have any injuries to the knees, hips, or back, please consult your doctor before doing this pose. If you are pregnant, please consult your doctor before doing this pose.
How to do Supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
For this pose, you’ll need a bolster, a rolled-up blanket, and two yoga blocks to support you.
To begin, sit up tall on your yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you.
Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to fall out to the sides. If they don’t touch the floor, place yoga blocks under your knees to support them.
Place a bolster behind you. The bolster will support the length of your spine, so have one end of it close to your tailbone. The other end of it points behind you. Gently lay back on the bolster.
You can place a rolled-up blanket or towel beneath your neck to support your head.
Place your hands at your side or wherever they feel comfortable.
Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes, breathing deeply and relaxing into the pose.
In conclusion, the supported supta baddha konasana is a great yoga pose for beginners. It is a relaxing and restorative pose that can help relieve stress and tension. This pose can also help to stretch the inner thighs and groin muscles, open up the hips, and improve digestion. If you have any injuries or medical conditions, please consult your doctor before doing this pose. Otherwise, give it a try and see how you feel!
Are you ready to learn how to do urdhva dhanurasana or wheel pose? The purpose of back bending is to stimulate the nervous system, so you can feel energy rising in your body. Then you can learn to make peace with that feeling and integrate that energy into your body. So as you practice this pose, think about energy rising up your spine.
In back bending, it is important that you’re not shortening your back. Instead, you want to engage the muscles of the spine to lengthen and increase the space between the vertebrae. As you attempt upward-facing bow pose think about lengthening and lifting.
Before we get started, let’s look at some of the benefits of wheel pose.
Benefits of urdhva dhanurasana
Opens the chest
Opens the abdomen
Stretches the hips and quads
Strengthens the legs
Strengthens the shoulders
Increases your energy
Expands the lungs
Helps you build mental strength
Contraindications of urdhva dhanurasana
While back bending can be beneficial, not everyone should do them. Here are some contraindications of wheel pose.
High blood pressure
How to do urdhva dhanurasana
Lay down on your mat. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor about hip-width apart or even slightly wider. Make sure your knees are tracking over your ankles.
Bring your arms up and place your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders near your ears. It’s important not to have your elbows winging out too wide. Instead, keep them tracking over your wrist. This will help your shoulder blades drop down your back and keep your upper back open for the backbend.
Inhale and shift your hips forward. Activate your pelvic floor and back muscles to lift up onto the crown of your head. Rest the top of your head on the mat. Push your hands and feet into the mat, lifting your torso upward.
Check your shoulder alignment here to make sure your wrists are still in line with your elbows.
If your shoulders are stable, you can lift your body up into the full pose. Press through your hands and feet to lift your head off the ground and your entire torso upward. Straighten your arms. Keep your shoulder girdle open and maintain the space between your shoulders and your ears.
Use your back muscles to lift yourself into a spinal arch. Once you’re up shift your weight, so your chest comes over your hands. This will open your chest and allow you to breathe more easily in the pose.
Gaze between the hands.
Stay here for five breaths. Slowly come out of the pose.
Watch this video with Kino for a better understanding of wheel pose.
Bakasana or the crane pose calms the nervous system while one attempts to stay in the posture with hands placed on the floor and the knees placed in the armpits with gaze fixed at the tip of the nose. The composure of a crane that is focused on fishing for food in water is what helped Yudhishthira the Pandava King to save the lives of his four brothers.
The Mahabharata one of the Sanskrit epics narrates the story of Pandava brothers who were exiled to forest for twelve years. The banished King Yudhishthira, eldest of the five brothers led his brothers to the forest. After having walked several miles the brothers were thirty and tired. Yudhishthira sent one of his brothers to look for a lake and fetch water for everyone. Hours passed by but the brother did not return. He sent his other two brothers to search for the missing brother, but they did not return too, Yudhishthira was worried and set out to look for the missing brothers with his last remaining brother. After a while the brother asked Yudhishthira to wait under the shade of the tree again since he had spotted a lake nearby and was sure that the other three brothers would be at the lake. The last of the remaining brothers too went towards the lake. Yudhishthira waited and waited under the tree but the brother did not come back. Now Yudhishthira was very anxious as all his four brothers were missing.
He set out again looking for the lake hoping to find his brothers, after sometime he reached the lake which lot of cranes in it fishing for food. And was shocked to see his four brothers lying unconscious near the lake. Yudhishthira rushed to get some water from the lake to sprinkle on them, as he was about to touch the water ‘Yaksha’, the water spirit appeared in front of him in a form of a crane and warned him not to the touch the water of his much-loved lake without permission and having answered all his questions correctly, or else he too would be poisoned to death just like his four brothers who did not pay heed to Yaksha’s conditions.
At that moment Yudhishthira kept his nerves together knowing that he had to remain calm because only ‘Yaksha’ the powerful water spirit could bring his brothers back to life. With his hands folded in reverence for the water spirit he agreed to answer all of Yaksha’s questions.
Yaksha asked his first question, “What is faster than the Wind?”
“Mind is faster than wind,” replied Yudhishthira.
“What is true cleansing?” questioned Yaksha again.
“Cleansing of the mind is true cleansing,” replied Yudhishthira.
“What is true religion?” asked Yasksha.
“Charity is true religion,” came the answer from Yudhishthira.
“Where do religion, success, heaven and happiness resides?” Yaksha asked.
“Religion resides in awareness, success resides in charity, heaven resides in truth and happiness resides in self-restraint,” Yudhishthira replied with his hands folded.
“Who is truly happy?” asked Yaksha
“One who has no debt is truly happy,” said Yudhishthira.
“What makes one loveable and wealthy?” The water spirit asked the Pandava King Yudhishthira.
“Pride when renounced makes one loveable and desire for more, when renounced makes one wealthy,” replied Yudhishthira.
“What is correct path of life?,” asked Yaksha again.
“The true path is the path of Dharma (righteousness) where one makes constant efforts to know oneself, living in gratitude and associating with learned teachers,” was Yudhishthira’s reply.
Yaksha was pleased with Yudhishthira’s answers and granted him the permission to use water from the lake and also revived the four brothers.
This conversation between King Yudhishthira and Yaksha in form of questions and answers shows us a way to lead a yogic life which emphasizes moderation in everything we do, maintaining a sense of balance in all aspects of life. All our thoughts and actions are to be guided by self-restraint and gratitude for harmonious living.
King Yudhishthira in spite of seeing his four brothers poisoned to death by Yaksha did not lose his calm and attended to the situation by keeping his emotions in control. The bakasana is not only symbolic for a life of equanimity and balance, but also helps achieving metal steadfastness and focus like that of a crane in water.
Yoga comes from India, and especially India’s historic past. If you have ever made the trip to India, one thing that is definitely ubiquitous on the streets of India are, cows. This is a pose that always brings me right back to the spiritual heart of the practice and the trips that I have made to study with my teacher in Mysore.
It is traditionally translated as the “cow facing pose” or “the cow pose.” Another way to think about this posture is what the cow–the Go–actually symbolizes. The cow is the sacred symbol of the being, like the Earth, which is willing to give more than she receives.
The Lesson of Patience and Kindness
We could think about Gomukhasana as teaching us the lesson of patience and kindness, of respect and, really, sustainability. In the easy version of the pose, if you start off from a comfortable seated position, you will pick your knees up, and then layer your right knee over the left. Drawing the left knee in.
First, the knees are elevated. Then, come forward until the knees kind of stack on top of each other. You can let the feet open as much as necessary, as to be comfortable for you. If it is easier for you, you can grab your feet and bring them in. This will increase the demand of the internal rotation of the hips.
Even though your knees kind of point to the side, they are actually rolling towards each other in the ball and socket of the hip joint to create a foundation. It may feel like you want to tilt back, but to move into Gomukhasana, you want to lift your sacrum up and forward so you almost feel like you are about to lift your sitting bones off the ground. Don’t lift them off the ground, but feel as though you are about to lift them off of the ground.
Then, place your left hand on top of the right knee. Your right hand on top, and just a nice, easy chin down. Keep a little activation in the legs, and draw the belly in. Moving into this version of Gomukhasana is almost a meditative pose. There is a softness in the body. A softness. A calm, inner awareness. If you notice there is any tension in the front of your hip, see if you can soften a little bit, keeping the activation in the pelvic bowl.
Creating Length and Space
Work on challenging Gomukhasana. Take your right hand up, reaching it back behind you. holding onto your right elbow with the left hand, and then just, layer it back. Then, drop the left arm down, and see if it is possible to reach your hands for each other, behind your back. It may not be possible, so you could just leave the hands in position, and we will hold here for just a moment. Nice breath in, soften through the shoulders, and create length and space through the center line. Let it go down. You are noticing an internal rotation of the left shoulder, and an external rotation of the right shoulder.
Openness in the Shoulders
If that was impossible for you, another option to create some openness in the shoulders, is to sort of do the Eagle arm position. Your right hand, and the left hand layers, raising the arms up. In this version, you are going to look up at the thumbs, finding the center line. This is that not-stressful version. Do not hit it too hard, just let your body kind of ease its way into the pose. If the easy Gomukhasana is not really comfortable for you, just work on whatever level is appropriate for where you are at.
Work on the Balance
The cow facing pose, Gomukhasana, from Ashtanga Yoga, comes at the end of the second series, which is a challenging series. We will start off in the relaxed cow position. The knees cross over each other, using that internal rotation. To get yourself into that full, kind of, elevated, lifted Gomukhasana position, you want to come all the way forward. Your knees almost layer on top of each other.
Cross at the top of the thighs. Instead of the feet apart, just bring the feet towards each other. Drawing the belly in, settle the hips gently down. As you settle the hips gently down, you will feel like there is nothing to sit on. You are actively squeezing the legs into each other, and you are squeezing the knees down. Settling your hips back onto your feet, avoid rounding your back, and then, perch yourself forward in the same way. Keep your hips close to your feet. Take your hands down onto your thighs, work on the balance.
Interlock the Fingers
Only if you work on the balance, then, lean forward, and interlock your fingers under you knees. You can round your back to get the grip, but then, pop your chest forward. This balance is very precarious. Gaze down the bridge of the nose, holding it there for a moment.
The Full Posture
Then, you can layer yourself forward by squeezing the knees slightly forward, keeping your sternum oriented in line with the pubic bone. Pubic bone, forward. Your legs should feel a little active. Your pelvic floor should be on. Avoid rounding the back, but pop the chest forward. Like that easy version of Gomukhasana, right hand reaches back, left one around, and find that center line. Lift the chest up, and forward. Now, the gaze up, here, is real precarious, because you feel like you do not have that stable foundation of your hips down. You are really actively squeezing yourself into the pose. I always seem to almost lose the balance when I look up. You want to find a small spot and gaze at that spot. Then gently release it, taking your hands down. Come on down to that easy version of Gomukhasana.
Gomukhasana, the cow facing pose, will help you find a calm and even center. When you have that tightness in your shoulders, what can happen is that, your shoulders kind of cave in and collapse the heart. As you practice Gomukhasana, your heart center opens. Your heart expands. The shoulders relax and you can find the happy freedom, the trusting heart of the spiritual center, really, of the sacred. Remember that when you are practicing a deceptively simple pose, like Gomukhasana, there are hidden benefits along the spirit that will start to shine through as you begin to practice. I hope you keep the seed of peace in your heart, and the inspiration to practice everyday. Namaste.
Now for the surprise. I break down downward dog to every single student in every single class. Only a day-one yogi has never been in downward dog, so of course, it is my honor to introduce that yogi to this foundational pose.
And most yogis who have been in downward dog many times can still benefit from the grounding instructions, “sharpen your arms, bring your toes up to engage the front of the legs, don’t worry about touching your heels down to the ground.”
But what about the advanced yogis? What about fellow teachers in my class? Is there a purpose to breaking down a pose they do dozens of times each and every day? Yes. And it is a reason that extends far beyond downward dog and even more broadly than yoga.
Things we do again and again become habitual. In fact, it is a great evolutionary survival mechanism of our brains that we can approach familiar movements with an automaticity that reserves our precious brain power for novel endeavors.
But this automaticity exacts a toll. It can be hard to be mindful in the habitual. Reexamining the things we do regularly can give them a renewed sense of purpose. So no matter how many times you have been in downward dog, make it feel like your first.
Feel the even weight of your body between your limbs.
Sharpen your legs, sharpen your arms, and extend the side of your trunk.
Push the front of your thighs towards the back of your thighs and lift your hips upwards and backwards.
Feel the stretch extend from the soles of your feet, through your calves and into your hamstrings. Let that lengthen your spine.
As you fold forward, sending your unique energy inward, accept that calming effect on your nervous system and allow yourself to look within. I bet you’ll like what you find.
Before I found yoga and began teaching, I was a wildlife biologist and environmental scientist. Serving the natural environment and helping to recover endangered species was my way of giving to a greater good. This is a concept that I’ve carried daily into a yogic lifestyle, both in teaching and in practice. I seek to serve this community in a way that supports strength, healing, and sustainability. After having multiple knee surgeries due to a car accident, I myself sought these qualities from my own encounter with yoga. I had to transition from contact sports like soccer to the safer and deeper space that the practice provides. A continuing student of Iyengar yoga, vinyasa, and meditation, I believe that awareness of breath, knowledge of the body, and mental focus on the mat lead to mindfulness and living harmoniously off the mat. I draw from my own experience and the study of human anatomy to offer a safe and grounded space for practitioners. I endeavor to help them explore their physical boundaries with a focus on intelligent alignment, awareness of breath, and steadying or relaxation of the mind. I have studied with Nikki Costello, Nikki Vilella, Magi Pierce, and other influential teachers. I am an ERYT-200 hour yoga alliance certified teacher with additional specialized training in anatomy, meditation and yoga nidra. Connect with Ahmed on Instagram or http://yogisoli.com/
As someone who has had to seek medical intervention in the past, I can tell you that the most consistent relief I’ve had has happened since I have had a consistent yoga practice.
Menstruation can be hard. Whereas it’s normal and expected once girls hit puberty, those 5-8 days can be dreadfully, frighteningly painful for many women. From anxiety to mood swings, lower back pain to crippling abdominal cramps, nausea and diarrhea to constipation. As someone who has had to seek medical intervention in the past, I can tell you that the most consistent relief I’ve had has happened since I have had a consistent yoga practice. Try adding yoga to your daily routine and see how it helps. You can also try these yoga poses for menstruation. They will help to relieve symptoms of bloating, heavy bleeding, PMS and lower back pain.
Supta Baddha Khonasana
This is a reclined variation of Butterfly Pose. You can also place a cushion, bolster or blanket under your back, the entire length of the spine. Hands can be flat on the ground, palms up. Or, you can place one hand on the heart, the other on the lower pelvic belly. Breathe. This pose opens up the hips and groin area and helps to relieve traditional lower abdominal cramps. Stay here for 5 minutes.
Legs Up The Wall
This pose is especially helpful for those of us who struggle with lower back pain associated with our period. It supports the lower back and the relaxed position, with the spine flat on the ground, eases compression in the lower back area. If a wall is not available, feel free to choose a similar variation but with the knees bent and feet drawn close to the glutes. Stay in this position for 5-10 minutes.
Bound Angle/Cobbler/Butterfly Pose
Bound Angle Pose works by opening and massaging the pelvic area of the body. This pose can also help with heavy bleeding. You can sit with the spine straight, grabbing the feet. Or, place several blankets, a bolster or a cushion underneath the torso and come into a folded variation. Hold for 5-10 minutes.
Sideways Cat Stretch
From all fours: inhale center, exhale, try to bring the head to the glutes. Alternate, left and right sides.
The aim here is to help the pelvic muscles to relax and ease the discomfort that results in cramping pain when those muscles contract. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Supine twists are great for relieving the symptoms associated with menstrual cramps. They aid by easing the discomfort in the lower pelvic region and also stimulating blood flow and circulation. The stretch on the lower back and hips is also quite soothing. Add a bolster, cushion or folded blankets under the bent leg to make yourself more comfortable. Then stay in this pose, on each side, for 3-5 minutes.
Menstruation often comes with a roller coaster of emotions. Savasana relaxes and calms the nervous system and helps to balance the emotions. Hold Savasana for 5 minutes.
I started practicing yoga in 2015. I had a pain in my knee and, after searching Google, figured I had nothing to lose by trying. I watched my life and relationships become transformed by my practice. So much so that I pursued my 200 HR certification with Bodhi Yoga Academy in 2018. I advocate yoga and it’s transformative, healing properties for all peoples and all bodies. I see yoga as a safe space, a place where we forget who we think we are, who we’re expected to be; it is where we allow the body, the mind, the breath to be so perfectly intertwined that we can just be. Being a teacher is great. Being a student of the practice is, by far, my greatest accomplishment.
Dolphin pose is a pose which I think is often overlooked, but it packs so many great benefits that I think it’s more than worth taking a closer look at. Dolphin Pose, or Ardha Pincha Mayurasana, strengthens, and stretches the shoulders, upper back and legs. It’s also a pretty awesome core strengthener. The combination of strength and flexibility that Dolphin pose builds can help with so many areas of your practice. Particularly when working towards Pincha Mayurasana or Forearm Stand, and other inversions.
Here are some things to focus on when practicing Dolphin Pose:
Set up with the forearms parallel to each other, with the elbows shoulder width apart, and the palms flat on the mat. Those elbows are going to want to splay out to the side, so keep hugging them in towards the mid-line to prevent that from happening. Think about wrapping the shoulder blades outwards, away from the spine and broaden through the collar bones.
As you walk your feet in towards your torso aim to stack the shoulders over the elbows. Focus on reaching your hips towards the ceiling and keeping the spine long. If your hamstrings are tight, feel free to come up on your tiptoes, or if you have the flexibility then press your heels down into the mat. Keep your legs engaged by pulling your kneecaps and strongly engage your core to stabilize and support the whole pose. Relax your neck and gaze towards your shins or toes.
I am an Ashtanga Yoga Practitioner and Teacher based near Marlborough, Wiltshire with a real love and passion for the practice. I also own and manage a Wellbeing Centre where I work as a licensed Acupuncturist, which really helps me to understand the energetics of the asanas and how they affect the physical, mental and emotional bodies. My classes are strong, energetic and fun. Ashtanga Yoga is an amazing practice for developing some serious strength and flexibility in body and mind. Outside of my daily Ashtanga Vinyasa practice I love playing creatively with poses and exploring hybrid postures and different variations – Arm balances are a real favorite of mine! You can find me on Instagram where I host yoga challenges and share tips and tutorials at @omniyogagirl
Marichyasana B of the Ashtanga Primary Series is one of what I call “Birthday Cake Poses”. It involves specific ingredients that must be added in the proper order, at the appropriate time, for the recipe to work. The process is essential to honor the intention of the posture.
The first ingredient is the lotus posture. Without lotus, it is really just a version of Marichyasana A. So take your time with your lotus position, finding release in the hip, checking in with the knee, bringing that foot high across the other leg, heel positioned within the line of the pubic bone and belly button. Once you have a workable lotus – perfection is not required, just something that is not painful and gives you space to work the other leg – lean back into the hands so that you can draw the second leg up, heel to sit bone. This moment may reveal some resistance in the hip, acknowledge that and navigate a path through it. If the hip is not too intense, rock your weight forward and diagonally toward the lotus leg. Eventually you want to feel secure in this foundation, the thigh of the lotus leg and the foot of the other side, that sit bone lifted. This is the baking phase of our recipe. Settle into your foundation, sit with ease. If you are still holding on to the planet to avoid falling back, then work here for a while. Next take a forward fold over you lap, reaching around for the bind just as in Marichyasana A, first arm around the upright knee, the other tossed behind the back. Got the bind? Frosting! Lastly, enjoy your dessert, finishing with a deep fold, forehead or chin to the floor. Breathe.
If you rush this posture, you may end up with some distorted version with no integrity. Step by step process draws your awareness to places of resistance and thus places to work. When the full expression is reached it will feel like it makes sense, you will feel ready for it. No hurry! And always honor injuries, especially in the knees. It is certainly acceptable, even encouraged, to modify the lotus during a time of injury.
Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is an ancient wellness system that can help us find optimal health and balance in life. It’s all about eating a nutritious and balanced diet that’s suited for your individual needs, engaging in self-care practices that nourish your body, mind and soul, plus, practicing yoga in a way that is informed by this ancient science of life. These three components are your Ayurvedic keys to good health and well-being.
Our October challenge, #EatLikeAYogi, is all about bringing yoga and Ayurveda together as they were meant to be practiced. In doing so, you will have all the tools you need to find your way back to a place of optimal well-being. During this challenge, each day, participants will complete an Ayurvedic practice (based on food and self-care) with Sahara Rose, and an Ayurveda informed yoga pose recommended by Kino.
Each of the yoga poses in this challenge have been selected based on their ability to help balance the doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). As a compliment to the challenge, we are going to breakdown which poses are good for balancing which doshas, and why.
Today we’re talking about Vata imbalance and which yoga poses you should incorporate into your practice if you’re working to find balance.
A Vata imbalance is typically associated with many of the following signs and symptoms:
Excess bloating and gas
Poor mental focus
Anxiety or excessive nervousness
Cold hands and feet
Does this sound like you? Participating in the October Challenge with Kino and Sahara Rose is a great place to start for finding your way back to a more balanced state. Plus, be sure to put more emphasis on the following Vata balancing yoga poses that Kino has recommended for the challenge:
Tree Pose – Since vata imbalance is usually associated with scattered thoughts, poor ability to focus, excessive nervousness and anxiety, balancing postures like tree pose can help to bring more stillness to the mind. Tree pose requires a keen mental focus, so try incorporating this pose into your daily practice to see if it helps.
Paschimottanasana – Forward folds are grounding, calming, and encourage introspection. This is why any forward fold is great for bringing balance to excess Vata. Try this pose in the evening before bed to ease hyperactivity and help you prepare for a more restful sleep.
Utkatasana – Chair pose is very effective for creating a sense of grounding, which is great for relaxing a Vata mind. Plus, it activates the downward moving force in our bodies (Apana Vayu) which can help when it comes to alleviating constipation.
Warrior II – This is another grounding pose that can really help with balancing excess Vata. This posture does however pose a challenge for those of us who may be experiencing a Vata imbalance. This is because it’s a little less interesting than some of the other postures on this list. Vatas get bored very easily, but if you try incorporating a little movement with this pose before settling into stillness, you may find more success. Try this simple movement before settling in to hold Warrior II for an extended period of time: from Warrior II, inhale to lift your arms and bring the palms to touch. At the same time lengthen your front leg. On the exhale, bend back into your front knee, and extend the arms back in opposite directions. Repeat for several rounds of breath.
Ustrasana – The last pose on our list for balancing Vata is Ustrasana, aka camel pose. This pose is recommended because it asks us to still the mind and focus on grounding through the legs before adding in the backbend. That’s what’s really important for getting the full benefit out of this pose. From this place of grounding, move slowly and mindfully into the backbend, being extra careful not to overdo it.
Remember, a dedicated yoga practice that’s informed by Ayurveda is only part of what we need to do to find balance. Incorporate these poses into your daily practice and be sure to try the recipes and self-care routines recommended by Sahara Rose. This is what will truly help you find optimum health and bring balance to your overall life.
By Alex Wilson
Alex Wilson is a writer, yoga teacher, Ayurveda Yoga Specialist, and the content manager here at OMstars.com
Welcome to the Omstars blog, where we share information about our online videos, courses and teachers, plus tips and tricks for your own yoga & meditation practices, plant-based recipes, lessons from ancient yoga philosophy, featured members, and stories from Kino! Stay informed about everything Omstars and live the yogi life with us! Join Omstars.com today!
It doesn't matter if you succeed at the pose, but it does matter that you try. The effort of trying will teach you valuable lessons that can transform every aspect of your life.