The ultimate relaxation pose

Supta baddha konasana, or reclining bound angle pose, is the king of restorative yoga poses. It opens up the front of the body so that shoulders move back, chest broadens, abdominals and inner thighs lengthen, groin and hips release. It’s quite a vulnerable position, as you’re placed in a backbend, your soft front body exposed to the world, but if you throw a blanket over the top and grab an eyebag, you can feel warm and protected and allow your body to yield to its supports.

So, here are the props you need:

  • A bolster
  • One or two folded blankets
  • Two cushions
  • Six to eight blocks

If you don’t have yoga blocks, you’ll need lots of cushions and folded blankets instead.

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What to do:

  1. Put a folded blanket, cushion or block on the mat, at the end of your bolster. Sit on this, with your lower back facing the bolster.
  2. Lie back over the bolster and put a cushion under your head and neck. Your neck needs to be comfortable, so the back of the neck should be long and the head should not look thrown back.
  3. Your lower back will be arched to some extent, but you shouldn’t feel any pinching in your lower back. If this is the case, put more supports under your bottom so that you’re raised up a bit more.
  4. Bring the soles of your feet together and your knees out to the side. Pop cushions or blocks under each knee so that, although your knees are wide and the hips open, you feel completely supported and able to lie like this for five to ten minutes. If you don’t have enough support, you will become uncomfortable quite quickly and, instead of relaxing the hips, you’ll start to tense.
  5. Let your shoulders slide back either side of the bolster and rest your arms on the floor. If this feels uncomfortable, you may need to put a block or cushion under each forearm.
  6. If you have an eyebag, use it! Eyebags are great for helping you to focus inwards and ignore any potential distractions. Stay here for as long as you like, but at least five minutes.

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