How to Do Reclined Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) in Yoga

Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

Also Known As: Reclined Bound Angle Pose, Reclined Butterfly Pose

Targets: Restorative, hip opener

Level: Beginner

Reclined Goddess Pose is relaxing pose that is also a hip opener. As a restorative pose, you should be as supported and comfortable as possible. The goal is to stay in the pose for 10 minutes while gravity works to deepen your stretch as you clear your mind. You can use this pose at the end of a yoga session, or in the morning or evening to begin or end your day.

Reclined goddess pose
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Benefits

This pose relaxes and quiets the mind. It opens the groins and hips. The group of muscles called the hip flexors get tight when you spend a lot of time sitting. Stretching them can help relieve and prevent back pain and sciatica.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Come to lie on your back.
  2. Bend your knees, keeping the soles of your feet on the floor.
  3. Open your knees out to either side, bringing the soles of your feet together. The legs will be in the same position as they are in Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana).
  4. Your arms can be in any comfortable position—out in a T shape, overhead, relaxed by your sides or resting on your thighs are some options.
  5. Stay here several minutes as gravity works to deepen your stretch. Breathe naturally throughout the pose.
  6. To come out, reach down and help your knees come back together. Then roll over to one side and use your hands to support you as you sit up.

If you are practicing at home, set a timer for five or 10 minutes so you can completely relax.

Common Mistakes

Avoid these errors to get the most out of this pose.

Arching Lower Back

If you find that you are arching your lower back, lying on a bolster can correct this.

Aches and Pains

As the pose deepens, you may have aches and pains in your groin, hips, or knees. If you feel any pain or discomfort, come out of the pose since it won't benefit you to stay in it. Use props to avoid these distractions.

Modifications and Variations

This pose is one where props can help you achieve the relaxation needed. It can be adjusted for your personal needs. Covering yourself with a blanket is also a good idea since your body cools off quickly when you're not moving it.

Need a Modification?

If your legs are uncomfortable because your knees are a long way from the floor, try placing a block under each knee for support.

If you find you just can't do this pose without discomfort, it is better to use Corpse Pose (Savasana) instead as a restorative pose.

Up for a Challenge?

Supta Baddha Konasana With a Bolster
Supta Baddha Konasana With a Bolster. Hero Images/Getty Images

Use a bolster to change this pose:

  1. Before you lie down, take a minute to set up your bolster. If you don't have a bolster, you can stack several neatly folded blankets instead. Make your stack resemble the shape of a bolster. Some people may even prefer this method since you can easily adjust the height of your stack.
  2. When you are sitting, your bolster should be snug against your butt. Lie back so that the bolster supports the length of your spine but your butt is on the floor. 
  3. Separate your knees to either side, keeping the soles of your feet together. 
  4. Choose a comfortable position for your arms.

If you want to adjust the angle of your bolster so that it slopes from your head toward your hips, place a folded blanket or a block under the bolster at the head end before your lie down.

Safety and Precautions

This pose is generally safe unless you have a condition where you are not allowed to lie flat. Discuss it with your doctor if you have a hip or knee condition or recent surgery. If you have low back tenderness or stiffness, a rolled blanket or bolster under your knees helps bring the pelvis into a more comfortable position. If you are pregnant, use a rolled blanket or bolster to raise your head and chest and use props under your knees so you don't get a deep hip and groin stretch.

Try It Out

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

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