Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Yoga Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)
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Also known As: Bound Angle Pose, Butterfly Pose

Type of Pose: Seated

Benefits: Opens the hips and groins.

Cobbers pose (baddha konasana) is one of our ten essential poses for yoga beginners, which gives you an indication of how often you can expect to see this pose in class (hint: it's a lot). That's because it's a good basic stretch that almost anyone can do, even if it takes a few props to get there.

If your hips are tight, make sure to sit up on a folded blanket or two to raise your seat. You'll be surprised how this trick allows you to sit up straighter with much more comfort. 

If you have kids, the basic shape of cobbler's pose will probably look pretty familiar. Babies and young children often sit on the floor in this position. As we move into adulthood, we lose the habit, tending instead to spend more time sitting in chairs with our legs together. Our bodies become accustomed to this way of sitting and postural problems, including back pain, ensue. Stretching the hips and inner thighs in baddha konasana can begin to counteract the effects of spending too much time sitting at a desk or in a car.

Instructions:

1. Begin seated in dandasana (staff pose) with your legs outstretched straight in front of you. Then bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together as you let your knees fall out to either side.

2. Draw your feet in as close to your body as is comfortable. Back off if you feel any pain in your knees.

3. Press the outer edges of your feet together strongly. The feet may begin to open like a book. You can encourage this with your hands or hold onto your big toes in a yogi toe lock

4. Sit up tall with a long spine while keeping your shoulder blades on your back and your shoulders moving away from your ears.

Beginners' Tips:

1. Take padding under your sit bones if your spine want to round forward when you sit flat on the floor.

2. Position a block or other prop under each knee for support if your knees are very far from the floor.

Advanced Tips:

1. Come into a forward bend by tipping your pelvis forward. Make sure you are coming forward with a flat back instead of rounding your spine into it. You can place your elbows on your inner thighs and exert gentle pressure to help them open. If your head comes close to the floor but doesn't quite make it there, place a block under your forehead for support. 

Variations:

Reclined goddess pose (supta baddha konasana) is a version of the pose where you keep your legs as they are while lying down on your back.

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