Friday, May 20, 2011
In my last blog entry, I talked about how the body becomes accustomed to holding onto stress. I featured two poses that can help relieve that tension in the body.
I thought I’d continue on that theme of “release” and post a second article about how to let go of tension.
Sometimes we hold stress, not only in our heads, but also in our hearts: emotional stress. The type of stress that makes our hearts ache, or feel sad, or burdened. Not only do our hearts feel heavy, but this weight can also settle into our hips. This next pose is a yoga posture that can help with releasing tension and emotional stress from the hip area.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
This is a great posture that not only opens the hips, but provides a gentle stretch and opening in the inner thighs.
Baddha Konasana is a seated posture that opens the hips, but requires you to sit tall with an extended spine. This variation, the Reclining Bound Angle Posture, allows you to lie on your back, keep your spine straight naturally, and focus on the hip opening.
Start by lying on your back with you knees bend and your feet flat on the floor. While keeping the bottom of your feet together, slowly lower your knees out to either side. Your knees may or may not touch the floor depending on your current range of motion and flexibility. You will immediately feel the stretch in your inner thighs. Move to your deepest stretch, hold the posture, then focus on the breath. On each inhale, feel a continual extension of the spine as you recline on your yoga mat. With each exhale, press your knees a little closer to the floor. You may also use your hands to gently press your knees downward. Again, if you have reached your deepest position in the pose, simply hold the posture and continue breathing. Gravity will continue to assist the hip opening experience.
If you need some extra support in this posture, please feel free to use pillows, blocks, bolsters, or other objects of support under each knee or thigh as shown in the picture.
While holding Supta Baddha Konasana, call to mind emotional stressors that you would like to release. If you’d like, breathe out through your mouth as a gesture of moving these energies out of your body. Hold this posture for as long as you like, but for at least 20 breaths.