Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclining Cobbler’s Pose

“Sensory deprivation tanks operate on the premise that it is impossible to relax and to sustain relaxation if the nervous system is continually bombarded by stimuli. You can experience the same soothing effect…by the regular practice of [Supta Baddha Konasana].” 
– Judith Hanson Lasater; Ph.D., P.T., Relax & Renew

Where To

•  Under thoracic spine

• Under head

• Under thighs or shins

• Between feet (optional)

Why To

• To allow the hip flexors to release and the inner thighs to soften place an Egg under each thigh.

• To alleviate tension and compression Eggs behind the back help to lift you out of your lower back.

• To help keep the cervical spine alignment, use an Egg (or two) under your head.

How To

• Begin in a seated position with at least 6 Eggs.  Line up 3 Eggs, flat sides pressing against one another and lay them about 2/3rds of the way up your mat.

• The Eggs should be placed curved side down, parallel with your mat.  Place another Egg, curved side down, approximately 6-8 inches above the 3 Eggs, parallel to the front of your mat.

• Seat yourself towards the middle of your mat, facing away from the Eggs.  Your tailbone should be far enough from the Eggs that when you recline, the Eggs will be supporting the bottom tips of your shoulder blades.  Bend your knees, and bring the soles of your feet together.  Draw your heels up towards your groin.  (The distance between your heels and your groin is highly individual.)

• To support the external rotation of the thighs, bring an Egg beneath each leg as you gently release your knees toward the floor.

• Have the rounded side of the Egg against your skin so that the curvature of the Egg can support your leg without the discomfort of a sharp edge.  The level of openness you experience in your hips will dictate how much support you will need from the Egg.

• Some people find it more comfortable to support the hip opening by using an Egg under their knee instead of the thigh.  In the spirit of experimentation, try placing the eggs under your calves.

• Be mindful that the amount of hip opening doesn’t exceed your body’s comfort level.  Your body needs to feel fully supported and fully stable in order to completely surrender.

• Remember, you can always begin with more support than you think you may need and slowly deepen the posture as you settle in. The curvature of the Eggs makes shifting them during the posture simple and fluid.

• Once your legs are supported, bring your hands beside your Sitz bones and begin to lift up out of your lower back.  Create space between your lumbar vertebrae as you slowly recline.  Maintain this space until your thoracic spine is fully supported by the Eggs.  It may take a few tries to find the ‘sweet spot’ in your upper back.

• Adjust the Egg behind your head so that it supports you in a way that your chin falls slightly below your forehead.  Having the Egg on its rounded side gives you the option of gently rocking the head from side to side.  The curve of the Egg supports the natural rotation of the neck. Bring your attention to your shoulder blades and draw them slightly down toward your waist, creating a sense of expansion across your collar bones.

When Not To

• This pose should be avoided during the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

• If knee pain persists even with supported legs, draw your knees together, keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor.

• If you feel compression in your lower back, try sliding down the mat so that the Eggs are further up your spine.  If repositioning on the Eggs doesn’t help, draw your knees together, keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor.

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