In keeping with the theme of restoring our tense, schoolwork-ridden bodies, I have dedicated this installment of Touch Your Toes Friday to another resting pose that not only relaxes us, but also deeply stretches our muscles.
Let’s take Reclining Bound Angle Pose. I never refer to this pose by its complicated, slightly intimidating name, nor do most of the yoga instructors I have met. They usually say, “Lie on your backs, place the soles of your feet together, let your knees fall to the sides.” Doesn’t that sound more feasible than the stilted name, Reclining Bound Angle Pose?
After lying on your back, placing the soles of your feet together, and letting your knees fall to the sides, rest your arms on either side of you, palms open. Avoid arching your back in this pose by consciously pressing it into the floor, tucking your tailbone.
I usually take this position on a yoga mat or a hard-ish surface, but feel free to place a cushion of some sort, such as pillows or thick blankets under your knees and back for extra support.
This position stretches our inner thighs, an area of our bodies that carries a lot of stress. Plus, it relaxes our necks and shoulders, areas in which we feel immediate pain during this intense time of the semester.
Start by holding this pose for 3 minutes, closing your eyes and breathing deeply. If you just can’t get enough of the way this position makes you feel, hold it until you feel relaxed, refreshed, and restored.
As a position that offers us a deep stretch and opportunity to rest, Reclining Bound Angle pose can significantly decrease our mental and physical suffering from the stress in our lives, especially in these last few weeks of Spring 2011, and of our entire undergraduate careers for those of us peacing out for good come mid-May.