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  • Bound Side Angle Pose

    bound side angle pose, front view. In this standing bound pose, right knee is bend 90 degrees with thigh horizontal. Left knee is straight. Right arm is reaching behind the back. Left hand is reaching beneath the thigh and then up behind the back to grab the right hand. Feet are flat on the floor with left foot turned out 90 degrees. Model Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

    In Bound Side Angle Pose you wrap your arms around your thigh and torso and grab a wrist behind your back to create the bind.

    Binding Difficulty Level

    On a scale of difficulty for binding poses this pose is slightly easier to bind in than the Modified Marichyasana B pose because you only bind the thigh and not the thigh and shin together as in that pose.

    However it is harder in that it requires thigh strength to stay standing. And that's actually one of the benefits of this pose, it strengthens the legs.

    Note that you don't have to bind in order to get the leg strengthening effect. You could do side angle pose with the arms lifted and strengthen the thighs that way.

    Getting Ready to Bind

    Start in a normal non-binding version of side angle but with your bottom arm to the inside of the thigh.

    Make your bent knee leg strong so that you can easily support your body with your hand off of the floor.

    side angle yoga pose, In this unbound version of side angle standing yoga pose both feet are flat on the floor with the left foot turned out 90 degrees and right foot turned in slightly. Feet are slightly wider than a leg's length apart. Left knee is bend 90 degrees with thigh horizontal and right knee is straight. The right leg, right side of the body and right arm form one straight line with the right arm reaching up and over the head. Left hand is on the floor with upper arm pressing inner right knee and hand is on the floor to the inside of the left foot. Model Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.
    side angle pose, preparing to bind in side angle pose. In this standing binding yoga pose, the both feet are flat on the floor. Left knee is striaght and right knee is bent 90 degrees with shin vertical. Feet are just over a leg's length apart. The upper body is leaning towards the bent leg side to the inside of the knee with the lower elbow reaching towards the floor so that the shoulder moves below the bottom of the thigh. Model, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses, Blue Jeans.

    So that you can bind easily in this pose you need to get your shoulder below (or at least at) the level of the bottom of your thigh. To that end, bend your bottom elbow and reach it to the floor.

    If you can't get your elbow close to the floor, your shoulder is probably nowhere near where it needs to be in relation to your thigh. So spend some time in this pose. You can put your hand on the floor to rest, then focus on reaching your elbow to the floor.

    One you can do that you can work on the next step.

    side angle pose, bound side angle pose, preparing to bind in side angle pose. In this standing binding yoga pose, the feet are flat on the floor. Left knee is straight and right knee is bent with shin vertical. Feet are just over a leg's length apart. The torso is leaning towards the bent knee side inside the thigh with the right arm reaching back underneath the thigh. The arm is internally rotated so that thumb is uppermost and elbow points in the same direction as the bent knee. Model Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses, Blue Jeans.
    bound side angle pose, rear view. In this standing binding yoga pose both feet are flat on the floor. Left knee is straight and right knee is bent with thigh level. Right hand is reaching under the thigh to grab on to the left hand behind the back. Torso is twisting slightly downwards. Model, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses, Blue Jeans.

    Working Towards Binding In Side Angle

    With shoulder at, or below, the level of your thigh, reach your bottom arm rewards, beneath the leg.

    You can hold here, just getting used to this position (try it on both sides) then from there internally rotate your arm.

    Internally rotating the arm should cause the point of your elbow to point forwards (in the same direction as the toes of your bent-knee foot.)

    If possible, increase the internal rotation so that the point of your elbow points more towards the floor. Then bend your elbow.

    Your hand should end up close to or at your lower back. From here you can reach your other hand behind you and grab it's wrist (or at the very least, clasp fingers).

    bound side angle pose, rear view. In this standing binding yoga pose both feet are flat on the floor. Left knee is straight and right knee is bent with thigh level. Right hand is reaching under the thigh to grab on to the left hand behind the back. The left side of the torso is twisting upwards so that chest is open towards the front. Model, Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses,
    bound side angle pose, front view. In this standing bound pose, right knee is bend 90 degrees with thigh horizontal. Left knee is straight. Right arm is reaching behind the back. Left hand is reaching beneath the thigh and then up behind the back to grab the right hand. Feet are flat on the floor with left foot turned out 90 degrees. Model Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Which Hand Do You Grip With?

    Note that changing which hand does the gripping (if you are grabbing a wrist) you can change the way the pose feels. I'll suggest here that neither option is wrong or right.

    If you grab the top wrist you can try to straighten the top elbow. You may find that this causes you to roll your top shoulder back, opening that side of your chest.

    If you grab the bottom wrist you can try to straighten the bottom elbow. You may find that this causes your arm to press up against the bottom of your leg. This in turn helps to pull your torso lower.

    You could try interlacing your fingers and then straighten both elbows. Then you can do a dwikonasana action and reach the arms back behind your back. (Dwikonasana is the arm position use in prasaritta padotanasana c).

    Another possibility is that you count the breaths you are in this pose and try to last as long as possible before your thigh gives out.