Pose of the Week: Baddha Konasana

Saturday, 16 November 2019 11:00
This week’s pose is Baddha Konasana. Baddha means bound or restrained and Konasana means angle. Asana means pose or posture. So it’s bound angle pose. As you can see by the photos it is a seated asana. The word Asana is derived from Sanskrit: आसन āsana "sitting down" (from आस ās "to sit down"), a sitting posture, a seat. Baddha Konasana develops flexibility in the hips and legs, and can be also be practised for meditation.

BKS Iyengar in Baddha Konasana in Light on Yoga (1966)
The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali were written approximately in 2nd to 4th century CE. Patañjali is regarded as the founder of modern yoga, and BKS Iyengar continued the tradition by writing Light on Yoga, detailing 200+ individual asanas. Patañjali describes asana practice as the third limb of the 8 limbs or rungs of Yoga. Patañjali does not mention names of individual asanas, but describes how they should be done:
स्थिरसुखमासनम् ॥४६॥
sthira sukham āsanam
Asana means a steady and comfortable posture. Yoga Sutra 2:46
We acknowledge Patañjali and we respect the vast knowledge and wisdom passed down to us through our lineage of Iyengar Yoga by chanting the Invocation to Patañjali before the start of class. In previous weeks we looked at chanting in Simhasana 2 and Bhujangasana 1
Thursday night's Level 2 class practicing Baddha Konasana
The sound of the chant, when you are familiar with it, has the immediate affect of bringing you into the yoga room, to become present and open to the practice yet to come. Here, it is the significance of language, in the form of words and meaning, that hold the unique significance. The AUM (Om) begins the chant and we repeat it three times. The collective sound and vibration connects all of us in the room. As we close our eyes and begin to listen we are immediately brought to an environment where we can feel. This contradicts our normal state of having to use our eyes to perform. We are programmed to achieve and to just keep doing and doing.
There is a strong relationship to chanting and spiritual practice. When chanted melodically the language and rhythm can have transformative and enlightening effects. It also helps to focus the mind, voice, ears and heart, so the chanting can nourish us. 
The best thing is it brings people together as the meaning of the “chant” is “community”. 
So here is the chant with the phonetics so you can practice it at home…
yogena cittasya padena vacam
(yo-gay-nuh chih-tah-syuh pah-day-nuh vah-chahm)
malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena
(mah-lahm shah-ree-rah-syuh chuh vy-dyuh-kay-nuh)
yopakarottam pravaram muninam
(yo-pah kar-oh-tahm prah-vah-rahm moo-nee-nahm)
patanjalim pranjaliranato’smi
(pah-than-jah-lim prahn-jah-leer ah-nah-to-smee)
abahu purusakaram
sankha cakrasi dharinam
(shahn-kah chah-krah-see dar-ee-nahm)
sahasra sirasam svetam
(sah-hah-srah sheer-ah-sahm shvay-tahm)
pranamami patanjalim
(prah-nuh-mah-mee pah-tahn-jah-lim)
hari om
Let us bow before the noblest of sages Patañjali,
Who gave Yoga for serenity and sanctity of mind,
Grammar for clarity and purity of speech, and
Medicine for perfection of health.
Let us prostrate before Patañjali,
An incarnation of Adisesa,
Whose upper body has a human form
Whose arms hold a conch and disc, and
Who is crowned by a thousand headed cobra.
"We chant (Invocation to Patañjali) so that at the very beginning that feeling of sanctification comes from inside, with the feeling of surrendering oneself, because nothing can be learned in this world unless you have the humility to learn."
~ Geeta Iyengar
See you on the mat :)
Next Led Practice is next Saturday at 10am.
2 hour Rest & Renew Special Class is on Sunday 8th December 2-4pm
Nicole Schroeter
Certified Iyengar Teacher
Yoga Path
Learn more about your yoga - become an Iyengar Yoga Teacher
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