Monday, June 27, 2011

Supported Reclining Bound Angle

Blanket-foot Bound Angle

I've detailed other versions of Bound Angle and Reclining Bound Angle before (here and here). But this version is one of my favorites. It's easy to do at home or at yoga class. All you need are two medium-thick or thick blankets (three if you want one more to cover up with).

Setting up for the pose:
Roll one of your blankets into a small bolster and place it behind you lengthwise. It should be long enough to support your whole torso and your head. The blanket roll should be right up against your sacrum and when you lay on it your head should not be hanging off the end.

Fold your second blanket into a hotdog fold (fold in half lengthwise) and lay it down at the end of your mat by your feet (perpendicular to your mat).

Coming into the pose:
Sit in front of your bolster-rolled blanket with bent knees and your feet on your hotdog folded blanket. Fold the "hotdog folded" blanket over your feet making a "foot sandwich." (Now your blanket is folded twice, lengthwise, with your feet inside).

Pull the ends of your foot blanket toward you, tucking the feet in snugly.

Lay down on your bolster-rolled blanket and get comfortable. Your behind should be on the floor but the rest of your back and your head should be on the blanket roll. Let your knees fall open to the sides, tucking the ends of your "foot sandwich" blanket under your knees and/or hips to support the bound angle opening.

While in the pose:
You can experiment with what feels the best to you. If your head is tipped way back or you feel unsupported in the neck, place a folded blanket under the head and neck - not so thick that your head tips forward. Your head should be level with the body or slightly tipped back.

If your inner thighs feel too stretched, wad up your support blanket a little more and give your knees more height.

Send your arms out to the sides, palms up to encourage the heart center to open. If you feel too much pulling across the chest or through the arms, put a folded towel or blanket under each lower arm, supporting all the way to the fingertips.

If any other place in your body feels uncomfortable or unsupported, experiment with more props until you feel at ease.

Keep breathing, keep observing the pose in your body, and allow the body to open at its own rate. Commit to the stillness but do allow yourself to adjust your props and your body as you settle deeper in.

Coming out of the pose:
To come out, you can either help the knees come back together or you can send your legs straight out to stretch. Either way, roll to one side to rest before coming back to seated. A nice follow-up pose is a Supported Side Reclining Twist.