By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Ardha Baddha Konasana is the foundation pose for another asana named Upavishta Konasana i.e. Seated Straddle Pose and Baddha Konasana Uttanasana – bound angle forward bend. This asana prepares you for a forward bend while gradually opening up your hips and the hamstring muscles.
- Ardha – half
- Baddha – bound
- Kona – angle
- Asana – pose
Baddha Konasana i.e. bound angle pose is also called as butterfly pose. Ardha Baddha Konasana pose looks like half of this pose and hence is also known as half butterfly pose variant forward bend. It is a sitting posture and includes forward bend and stretch
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Preparation for Ardha Baddha Konasana
Ardha Baddha Konasana is a pose which includes forward bending in sitting posture. It also involves stretching of muscles of hips, thighs, lower back and pelvis. Therefore it is better done on empty stomach, preferably early in the morning. Else the practitioner should make sure that his stomach and intestines are empty before starting this pose. He should have had his meal at least 3-4 hours before the asana. This would not only help the practitioner to digest the food in those hours but also to provide the necessary energy needed to perform the pose. The bowel and bladder also should be evacuated before taking to this pose.
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Method of Ardha Baddha Konasana
Positioning and performing the pose
- Sit in comfortable position on an even floor
- Sit straight and lengthen up your spine
- Stretch the left leg out to the left
- Bring the sole of the right foot to the inside of the left thigh, i.e. the left groin and press against it
- Now your hips and shoulders are facing little to the right, the left leg is stretched out to the left with left knee and toes pointing upwards, the hips are opened up in outward rotation compressing the inner organs
- Now lift your arms gently straight up next to your ears with your finger tips facing the roof and palms parallel and facing each other
- Hinge at the hips and fold (bend) forward as you exhale and place your hand on the floor in front of you
Release from the pose and coming back to the point of start
- Now gradually release and raise, come back to the straight back position from which you have started
- Breathe easily
Repeating the steps on the opposite side
- Next repeat the same steps by stretching your right leg towards the right and by bringing your left heel to the right groin
- You can repeat this few times as much as you are comfortable doing them
It is a preparatory pose for Seated Straddle Pose i.e. Upavishta Konasana. It opens up the hips while the lower back muscles stretch to support them.
The muscles around the lower back, hamstrings, gluteus and hips open up as they are stretched while doing this pose. One can prepare to perform deeper forward bends and backbends when the flexibility of these muscles increases with regular practice of this pose.
Since the muscles compress the abdominal organs while doing the forward bend this pose is good for abdominal organs. It keeps the internal organs stimulated and functioning. (Read)
This pose is not suitable for people suffering from severe lower back pain. But it can be practiced cautiously supporting the head and arms with a bolster.
Since this pose increases stretch on the leg it may worsen sciatica. To reduce the sensation of this stretch a blanked may be used below the hips to tilt it forward.
Those suffering from pain in the inner knee can reduce the stretch on the groin of the thigh. This can be done by pushing the leg away from the hips. Utmost care should be taken and this pose may be avoided if there is an injury or surgery to the knee.
Impact on Chakras
Ardha Baddha Konasana works on the below mentioned Chakras and helps balance them –
- Muladhara Chakra – Root Chakra
- Swadishtana Chakra – Sacral Chakra
- Manipura Chakra – Solar Plexus
Effect of Ardha Baddha Konasana on Doshas and Tissues
Effect of Ardha Baddha Konasana on Doshas and their subtypes
Activates and balances the Dosha subtypes in the abdomen – This pose mainly balances pitta and kapha doshas. It also balances the fire, earth and water elements. These elements are also controlled by the chakras mentioned above. Since the pose is good for abdominal organs it balances Samana Vata, Pachaka Pitta, Kledaka Kapha and Apana Vata. It enables proper digestion of food and its assimilation. It mainly stimulates the kidneys and bladder and enables their proper functioning. It is also good for urogenital system, regulates urination, menstruation and ejaculation. It helps in evacuation of bowels and is helpful in treating constipation and bloating. Its action on the chakras located in the abdominal and pelvic regions as said above and the balance the pose brings in these chakras will further stimulate and balance the functions of the organs of pelvis and abdomen.
Effect of Ardha Baddha Konasana on Dhatus
Provides strength to the Asthi Dhatu & Sandhi – Ardha Baddha Konasana provides strength to the bones and joints around the lower back, hips and pelvis.
Provides strength to the Mamsa Dhatu – Ardha Baddha Konasana not only stretches the muscles of the lower limb and those around hips, abdomen and pelvis, but also provides strength and tones up these muscles.
Read – Dhatu – 7 Body Tissues As Explained In Ayurveda
Effect of Ardha Baddha Konasana on Malas (excreta)
This pose tones up the urinary bladder and kidneys and helps in proper formation and voiding of urine. It also helps in easy voiding of feces and keeps the bowel healthy.