How to do Baddha Konasana, Cobbler’s Pose – hip stretching, seated yoga posture
Baddha Konasana – The seated Cobbler’s Pose strongly stretches the adductor muscles of the inner thighs. Anyone with tight hips will benefit from daily practice of this posture. Because of the focus on the perineal floor, the organs of the entire pelvic region are toned and invigorated by the practice of Cobbler’s Pose.
1. From Seated Staff Posture bend the knees out to the side and bring the soles of the feet together. Draw the legs toward the body and snuggle the heels into the perineum.
2. At your fingertips cup the floor behind the back. Press down strongly into the sitting bones as you lengthen upward through the spine and lift the heart centre. Bring your attention to the inner edge of both thighs. Lengthen outward toward the inner knees, as if trying to touch the side walls with the knees. This will assist the movement of the knees closer to the floor. Allow some long exhalations to soften any tension in the inner thighs –you cannot force this stretch to happen. It is simply a matter of surrendering and allowing!
3. If your sense of ‘sitting tall’ feels well established, hold the feet with both hands. Use the thumbs to move the big toes apart and spread the soles of the feet wide, so they open out like a book. This helps the knees ease toward the floor. Alternatively, work on assisting with the torso to float up out of the hips by interlacing your fingers around the feet and lengthening the sides of the waist upward.
4. Now bring the elbows to the inner thighs and press down as you fold the upper body forward. Keep the front of the body long as you bring your forehead to the floor.
5. A balancing version of Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose), is Namaskar Kanda Pidasana (Navel Pressure Pose). Cup your feet and lift them in the air. Lift them up as high as possible, then work the big toes toward your chest. While the feet move toward your body, the knees press back. If possible wrap the forearms farther around to grasp the elbows.
Gaze: Tip of the nose or straight ahead.
Build up poses:
- Reclining Bound Angle Pose, Supta Baddha Konasana
- Hero Pose, Virasana
- East Stretch Posture, Purvottanasana
- Sit with the back against the wall
- Sit on a bolster or folded blanket to raise the hips
- Use a little weight, like a sandbag, on top of each thigh
Baddha Konasana, Cobbler’s Pose Counter Poses
In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.