In the days of carefully curated Instagram feeds and flawless online personas, it’s easy to forsake contentment in search of perfection.
Yoga can help us combat this relentless (and unrealistic) pursuit by offering the opportunity to create balance using breath, intention, and method.
Bound angle isn’t a balancing pose (it’s a hip opener), but it works to cultivate balance by inviting us to root down and welcome discomfort instead of looking for an escape. When the pelvis is grounded, it’s easier to breathe deeply and become more calm, centered, and relaxed.
As you learn to stay and breathe in an uncomfortable pose, bound angle offers you one of yoga’s great lessons: that peace can be found anywhere.
Bound Angle Pose Philosophy & Origin
Also known as Baddha Konasana in Sanskrit, Bound Angle Pose is believed to have origins in the traditional sitting positions of Indian cobblers. It is also known as Cobbler’s Pose or Butterfly Pose.
Pronounced: BAH-dah cone-AHS-anna
“Baddha” = Bound / “Kona” = Angle / “Asana” = Pose
Bound Angle Pose: Step-By-Step
Begin in a seated position with your legs straight out in front of you. On an exhale, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together. Position the heels of your feet as close to or as far away from the groin as you like — do whatever is most comfortable for your body.
Place your hands around your feet and hinge forward, extending your heart toward your toes (not forehead to heels). Gently round your spine until you find the fold that is right for you.
Hold the Bound Angle Pose for 3-5 minutes. To release, inhale and lift your knees away from the floor, extending the legs back to their original position.
Also see: Tree Pose
Adjustments & Modifications
- Sit on a block or blanket to lift your seat and give the spine extra height to support the hips.
- Place blocks under the knees to release pressure on the knees and hip joints.
- For a more restorative variation, position the feet further away from your body so that the legs form a diamond shape.
Also see: Bridge Pose
Never force your knees down. If your knees don’t reach the floor, simply leave them in the lowest natural position.
Do not “flutter” your knees like a butterfly. All movements should be slow and smooth.
Explore your edge with ease. While you practice, stay present and observe yourself . Either soften into the Bound Angle Pose or deepen it, depending on what you need in the moment.
Avoid this pose if you have a groin or knee injury. If you have these or any other medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
Remember, when a pose — or any situation in life — is challenging, you can learn to find peace exactly where you are.
Watch a demo of this pose at Yoga Journal here.