About Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
?The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.? ~ Albert Einstein
?In this world, most people are not interested in dharma and moksha. Of the four purusharthas, now only two are being fulfilled: artha and kama. When you go into artha and kama without the balancing effects of dharma and moksha, you will have mental tensions, worries, feelings of insecurity and fear. The mind will be troubled, full of passion, anger, remorse and regret.? ~ Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Being able to balance our emotions is the key spiritual evolution. Most of us don?t even realize we are having an off day until we try to hold a balance pose in a yoga class. We are literally all over the place. No matter how much effort we apply to standing or sitting still, or even in the case of arm balance, using our heart and core to stabilize, we just can?t seem to stick it. This is usually because our attention is still drawn to the outside world. I can usually see in the first five minutes of balancing asana practice, what kind of day someone has had ? or even what kind of week! The Yoga Sutras talk about drawing our attention inward in order to evolve and stabilize the mind. When we are thrown off balance in our lives, what we really need is to balance the mind. From here, once again we can hold our own or stand on our own two feet, or in this case, balance on the precarious edge of the tailbone.
Benefits of Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
Dandayamana Baddha Konasana or Balancing Bound Angle Pose is a beautiful posture to help integrate the passions, fears and regret many of us feel. We often hold these emotions in our gut and hips, and the respective chakras. This can manifest as digestive ailments, overly tight hip-flexors and groin muscles and lower back pain. When adding the balancing aspect to Baddha Konasana, it helps to focus the mind through the physical body so that our mental equilibrium can be reestablished. Every asana has a corresponding psychological effect on us, aside from its purely physical benefits. This asana opens the hips, strengthens the upper body and improves the core, but more importantly, it improves balance and focus, two things many of us lack in modern society. There are too many distractions in life ? work, play, and the technological age of gadgets with their bells and whistles ? you can actually now receive emails from your dryer telling you that your clothes are done, or from your GPS telling you have made a wrong turn. What has happened to our internal GPS? Dandayamana Baddha Konasana and other balance poses can help s to tune out of the outside distractions and tune in instead.
How To Perform Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
To practice this asana, begin in a seated position with a long spine and allow the shoulders to relax toward the floor. You may want to do a few seated cat cow breaths to warm up the spine and release any initial tensions of the day. Draw the feet into a bend, close to the body so that the souls of the feet are touching and the kneecaps face away from the groin. Bring the feet as close to the groin as possible and allow the knees to fall toward the floor. Stay seated on the sit bones without rolling back into the tailbone. You are now is Baddha Konasana. From here you will add the balancing or Dandayamana essence to the pose. With a deep breath, slowly rock back into the tailbone, keeping the spine erect and draw in the navel in toward the spine. Do not, however, stop your deep breath. Keep the feet off the floor and reach down to embrace the outer edges of the feet with your hands. You can hold the feet between the palms as if embracing them in prayer pose, or adjust your grip if you have a difficult time bringing the legs in and up to balance. Draw the feet toward the heart, keeping them pressed together with the hands. Stay balanced on the front of the tailbone. If you lean too far back, you will fall back out of the pose, and end up supine on the floor. Hold for several breaths and concentrate on the feet for balance. Your mind should be steady and concentrated while in the pose. If you take your gaze all around you, the body will follow and become unsteady. You should also be sure to bend at the elbows to bring the feet closer and closer to the heart so that the shoulders stay relaxed. Form this asana, more advanced poses can be worked toward such as Kurmasana, (Tortoise Pose) and Uthitha Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose in Balance). These are more advanced asana that build on the foundation of Dandayamana Baddha Konasana.
In its quintessence, this asana utilizes balance, stretching of the hips and groin, abdominal control and trataka, or removal of the senses from outside distractions, as well as pranayama. The only yogic tools missing from this asana are meditation and saucha or cleansing techniques, but pranayama qualifies as such since it purifies the nadis or energy points throughout the body. Follow the asana with a release for the inner thighs, such as paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) or an outer thigh stretch such as Gomuksana (Cow Face Pose) to keep the body in balance.
Modifications for Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
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Variations of Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
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Contraindications for Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
Dandayamana Baddha Konasana is contraindicated for those with serious knee, hip, arm or shoulder injuries, or those with injuries to the tailbone. If needed, a folded blanket can be placed underneath the tailbone, or one can start with just Baddha Konasana if the hips and groin are very tight. Otherwise, this asana is a beautiful combination of many of the tools of yogic science to help calm the mind and free up the body.
Pictures of Dandayamana Baddha Konasana
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