Baddha Konasana

THREE*

Baddha means caught, restrained. Kona means an angle. In this posture, sit on the floor, bring the heels near the perineum, catch the feet and widen the thighs until the knees touch the floor on either side. This is how Indian cobblers sit.

TECHNIQUE

1. Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. (Plate 35)

2. Bend the knees and bring the feet closer to the trunk.

3. Bring the soles and heels of the feet together and catching the feet near the toes, bring the heels near the perineum. The outer sides of both feet should rest on the floor, and the back of the heels should touch the perineum.

4. Widen the thighs and lower the knees until they touch the floor.

5. Interlock the fingers of the hands, grip the feet firmly, stretch the spine erect and gaze straight ahead or at the tip of the nose. (Plate 50) Hold the pose as long as you can.

6. Place the elbows on the thighs and press them down. Exhale, bend forward, rest the head, then the nose and lastly the chin on the floor. (Plate 51) Hold this position from half a minute to a minute with normal breathing.

7. Inhale, raise the trunk from the floor and come back to position 5. (Plate 50)

8. Then release the feet, straighten the legs and relax.

EFFECTS

The pose is specially recommended for those suffering from urinary disorders. The pelvis, the abdomen and the back get a plentiful supply of blood and are stimulated. It keeps the kidneys, the prostate and the urinary bladder healthy. It is well known that diseases of the urinary tract are rarely found among the Indian cobblers and the reason for that is that they sit all day in this pose.

It relieves sciatic pain and prevents hernia. If practised regularly, it relieves pain and heaviness in the testicles.

The pose is a blessing to women. Coupled with Sarvangasana I (Plate 102) and its cycle (Plates 113 to 125) it checks irregular menstrual periods and helps the ovaries to function properly. It is found that pregnant women who sit daily in this pose for a few minutes will have much less pain during delivery and will be free from varicose veins. (It is recommended for pregnant women in Dr Grantly Dick Reed's book Childbirth Without Fear.)

Along with Padmasana (Plate 53) and VIrasana (Plate 43) this asana is recommended for Pranayama practice and for meditation. When sitting in meditation in this pose the palms should be folded in front of the chest (Plate 52), but to do this with the back erect requires practice. This asana can be done without fear even after meals as long as the head is not rested on the floor.

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