Baddha konasana literally means "Bound Angle Pose" in Sanskrit, but is more commonly referred to as "Cobbler Pose" because it resembles the position in which cobblers in India traditionally sit when they work. This exercise is one of the very best postures in yoga to open a man's hip and groin area. In addition to promoting better bladder and prostate function, it can help the functioning of the kidneys and abdominal organs while stretching the thighs and muscles of the hips and buttocks.
Begin by sitting erect on your sit-bones in a comfortable seated position on the floor, legs straight out and together on the ground in front of you. Sitting on a carpeted or padded surface will provide greater comfort. Place your arms straight down along your sides with your palms pressed into the floor. Press down on your palms to help make your spine even more erect. Slowly flex your Fig. 13.9: Cobbler Pose
legs as you bend them at the knee joint and bring the heels and soles of your feet together in front of you. Bring your heels to within about a foot, or as close as your flexibility permits, to the genital area. Take a moment to be aware of how your legs feel. Do your thighs and knees comfortably touch the ground? If you're like most men, they probably don't. If your knees are raised high off the ground and the posture feels uncomfortable to you, try placing pillows, cushions, blankets, or rolled-up towels under your thighs to support them.
Clasp the top, outside surfaces of the feet with the hands and press firmly inward so that the soles of the feet stay firmly pressed together. Exhale as you bring your upper body forward (see Fig. 13.9). As a variation of Cobbler Pose, you can open the soles of the feet— the outer edges of the feet and heels stay together as the balls of the feet open up like a book, with the soles opening toward the ceiling. In either variation, relax the groin in the direction of the knees, encouraging the hips and thighs to open. Hold Cobbler Pose for up to 30 seconds if you are a beginner. As you progress in this posture, hold the position for one to five minutes.
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