My latest article for the Stanly News and Press:
Baddha Konasana, also known as Cobbler or Bound Angle pose, can look very different on each body. This is partly because of each person’s unique anatomy and partly due to the habits and activities of each individual.
Lots of people in our Western culture suffer from sciatica because of sitting in chairs and cars so much instead of getting down on the floor to keep their hips open and healthy. Also people who walk, run and cycle a lot can be susceptible to sciatic pain because of this repetitive front to back movement of the hips and legs.
To keep your hips open and healthy and pain-free, practice Cobbler pose daily. If this is not a comfortable place for your body, sit on one or several folded blankets to lift the hips and take some of the pressure out of the joints. You can also place a block under each knee to support the knees so the hips will not feel so vulnerable. Also, folding forward may not be an option at first, so simply sit up tall with the legs in the pose until you feel ready to deepen.
This posture will open the hips, inner thighs and lower back while keeping the knees loose and improving circulation. If the hips are very open, you can open the soles of the feet like opening a book to also give you a stretch in the ankles.
To practice this asana, sit up tall on your sits bones as you bend one leg up and then the other so the soles of your feet can come together. Hold onto your ankles as you pull the feet as close to your body as you can. Think of working your knees down toward the floor by using the strength in your hips and thighs.
If this is enough for you, stay upright in the torso. If you would like to feel more sensation, begin to slowly walk your hands in front of you as far as you can while letting your head relax down toward the floor.
Hold this pose as you breathe slowly in and out through your nose five to seven times. Be sure that your inhales match your exhales in length and that you keep your mind still and focused. You can close your eyes or find a spot to rest your eyes on and just enjoy the stretch in gratitude for your body.