50
THE ASANAS
Seated
Bound angle pose is a seated hip opener and
groin stretch. It can relieve pelvic cramping, and
this version of the pose also improves your ankle
exibility and awareness, which will come in handy
in balancing poses.
THE BIG PICTURE
Your inner thighs stretch, particularly
around your groin. If you can reach, this
is also an opportunity to stretch your
ankle muscles by opening your feet
like a book revealing its pages.
BOUND ANGLE
Baddha Konasana
ALIGNMENT
Your spine is stabilized
into neutral and, in this
version of the pose, your
pelvis is also neutral. Your
thighs rest in a rotated
outward position.
Arms
As you reach toward your
feet with exed elbows, your
brachialis exes your elbow
with the help of the biceps
brachii and brachioradialis.
Pelvis
neutral
Shoulders
relaxed back
and down
Hip rotating
outward
Spine
neutral
Feet opened
like book
Spine
elongated
Shoulder
Biceps brachii
Brachialis
Elbow
Brachioradialis
Ankle
Extensor digitorum longus
Fibularis muscles
Tibialis anterior
Lower legs
Your tibialis anterior
muscles dorsiex
your ankles, and your
extensor digitorum
muscles extend your
toes. If you are using
your hands to manually
invert your feet, your
bularis muscles
are stretching.
KEY
Joints
Muscles
Engaging
Engaging while
stretching
Stretching
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51
Torso
For many people, there is a
tendency to lose natural lumbar
lordosis (curve inward) in this
pose. To resist this, engage your
spinal extensors to lengthen and
stabilize your spine. Your rectus
abdominis stretches slightly.
Thighs
Your hip exors—particularly
your iliopsoas—engage to
maintain hip exion. Your
quadriceps, along with
your adductors, strongly
stretch. Although your
hamstrings initially engage to
ex your knee, in this version
of the pose try to relax them as
much as possible. This is not a
major hamstring strengthener.
Brachialis
Psoas major
Iliacus
Pectineus
Hip
Adductor longus
Adductor magnus
Vastus medialis
Sartorius
Rectus femoris
Knee
Spine
Spinal extensors
Rectus abdominis
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52
BOUND ANGLE
Baddha Konasana
CLOSER LOOK
Your one-of-a-kind bone shapes and joint
structures determine what your bound angle
pose looks like. Some people will never be
able to bring their knees to the floor and
that is okay. Focus on releasing your hips.
Erector spinae
engage to
maintain
posture
Multifidus sends
sensory information
to your brain,
helping body
awareness
Head is stacked
over your spine
Lower back is
curved inward
to neutral, not
rounding forward
Femur dierences
When seated in Bound Angle pose, notice if you
feel a “hard” or a “soft” stop. A hard stop is when
the bones get in the way, with little stretching
sensation felt. A soft stop is when tight muscles
limit movement and a stretching is sensation felt.
Soft stops can shift from stretching, but you
cannot change hard stops. Variance in femur
shape and angle can limit certain poses.
Knee is lowered
toward floor
Head of femur
rotates outward
in your hip socket
Deep
angle
Shallow
angle
140
130
115
Normal angle
between head
and shaft
of femur
POSTERIOR–LATERAL VIEW
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53
THE ASANAS
Seated
Pubic symphysis
made of
fibrocartilage
Iliofemoral
ligament
Sacroiliac
(SI) ligament
Upper arms
engage to
grasp feet
Engage thighs for
a few breaths, then
allow quadriceps
to stretch further
Pelvis dierences
The shape of the pelvis diers
in everyone. A key dierence is
between males and females—
women tend to have a wider pelvis
to allow for childbirth. Variance in
pelvis shape contributes to the fact
that everyone has their unique
expression of asanas. In Bound
Angle your pelvic structure is a
factor in how far you can lower
your knees.
Pelvis softening
Women release a hormone called relaxin
during pregnancy. Some research suggests
women release small amounts monthly
around ovulation. Relaxin prepares the body
for childbirth, prompting the ligaments and
brocartilage that support the pelvis to
relax and allow for more exibility. Women
should take care to not overstretch
during these times.
Sacrospinous
ligament
Angle is greater
than 90°
Angle is less than
or equal to 90°
Acetabulum
(socket)
Thicker bone
in male pelvis
90
130
FEMALE
MALE
ANTERIOR–LATERAL
VIEW
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