Pronunciation: SOUP-tah BAH-dah cone-NAHS-anna
Pose Type: Standing, Reclining Poses
Goddess Pose has two variations – both reclining and standing. The ‘Supta’ version of Baddha Konasana is the reclining bound angle pose that is considered highly restorative. A good beginner’s tip for this pose is to keep some towels, blankets, or bolsters handy, especially if practicing this pose in a restorative sequence. The inclination is to press the knees downward in an effort to open the groin further, but this merely works against the yogi by binding the groin, buttocks and lower back instead. Allow the body’s natural weight to open the groin on its own and you’ll experience this pose more naturally and without risk of injury.
This pose has two variations – the standing version and the reclining version. The standing version is practiced like this:
- Start by placing your feet 3-4 feet apart, toes pointed away from the body.
- Gradually lower your body until the legs are in a 45-90 degree angle, with the knees directly over the ankles.
- Place your palms together at your heart center and gently squeeze the thighs.
- Keep your chest forward and your body straight and strong, looking forward.
- Release by rising up to standing.
The reclining version is often performed after Cobbler’s pose by leaning backward and bringing the elbows and arms all the way to the floor and is practiced like this:
- Starting from a seated position on your mat, exhale and lower your back torso toward the floor leaning on your forearms.
- Place the bottoms of your feet together on the floor, letting the knees fall open. Then, slide the feet up toward your pelvis to make a kind of diamond shape with your legs on the floor.
- Use your hands to spread the back of the pelvis and release your lower back and buttocks through the tailbone. Bring your torso all the way to the floor, supporting your head and neck on a blanket roll, if needed.
- With your hands, grip your topmost thighs and rotate them externally, pressing the outer thighs away from the sides of your body.
As you practice this pose, you can feel the power that flows through the entire body.
Benefits of Goddess Pose
The benefits of this pose include:
- Opens the hips and the chest
- Tones the lower body while stimulating the reproductive system
- Useful for respiratory ailments and keeps the cardiovascular system health
- Warms and energizes the entire body
Supta Baddha Konasana is a stimulating pose that can be incorporated into many yoga flows. It imparts self-discipline and greatly improves the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.