Baddha means fixed, restrained, or bound, Kona means angle. The pose helps to prepare our body for the lotus positions, when we can get our legs into a nice tight lotus position and add the forward bending postures the pressure of the heel into our abdomen is increased improving the detoxifying effects of the asanas. It is one of the most beneficial poses in yoga asanas, not because of preparing our body for the lotus positions but because of the illnesses it cures.
For those with tightness in the inner groin:
Don’t be frustrated, the hip joint changes slowly and tightness in the posture has been developing over many years in the body! If you suffer from tightness here, do this pose everyday, do it will watching tv or relaxing with your back against a wall, do this pose in the shower when you are warm and you can use your elbows to gently push the knees down. Also practice this posture lying on your back (supta Baddha Konasana) gravity will help release the knees downward.
Chronic tension in the adductors is often due to emotions such as fear, pain, or shame. These emotions need to be acknowledged and then released. Many years of society telling us not to “go” to this area of our bodies has resided deep within our muscle tissues and keeps us rigid! Be careful with the intensity of this posture, if we work it too intensely we will have a rebound effect of trauma associated with this stretch and the body will protect you from that trauma by not letting you move deeper into the asana.
Benefits: It is written that Baddha Konasana is the most powerful and effective asana for all stomach problems, gastric problems, and rectal problems. It cures constipation, hemorrhoids, and indigestion.
Pattabhi Jois goes on to say about this posture that when one follows the correct methods of asana and pranayama there is no doubt they will be cured, but if an aspirant thinks that this will occur by merely practicing some asana while continuing to eat heavy or overly processed foods then he is misguided. Balancing foods are best (balancing foods is a term from Ayurveda and is beyond the scope of this document, for more information ask your teacher or Ayurvedic Dr.). Thus pure and pleasant foods should be consumed, by doing so, someone who is ill, but who practices asana and pranayama will become strong in body, mind, sense organs, and intellect. However one should not abandon the practice of yoga after becoming disappointed or indifferent because of an inability to follow a balancing diet strictly. The practice of yoga should be continued while following a diet suited to ones capacity. However, it is good to take balancing foods as much as possible.