Bound Angle Pose is a hip opener that can be very rewarding for both beginners as well as more advanced students. To begin, find a comfortable seat (you might begin in Dandasana) and bring the soles of the feet together with the thighs opening out to the sides. If you are tight in the inner hips or groins, sit on a blanket or a bolster to lift the pelvis up a bit. Traditionally, the feet are pulled in as close to the pelvis as possible, but since different distances between feet and pelvis will lengthen different adductors, feel free to experiment with this distance and play around if you like.
Grab on to the big toes, feet, or shins, making sure to keep the outer edges of the feet pressed into the floor. If the hips aren’t very mobile, this pose can put strain on the knees. One way to counter that is to actively rotate the inner edges of the feet away from each-other like opening a book. Also, as you open the legs, try to think about pressing the femur down to the floor and not the knees.
On an exhale, you might fold forward over the legs. You can pull gently on the feet if you like, though make sure to keep the shoulder blades wide and the muscles of the back soft – don’t strain to come forward. Keep the back relatively straight and chest open as you reach the belly button forward over the feet. If the intention is to get the head down as opposed to the belly button forward (and this is true for all forward bends), the result is more spinal than pelvic. Keeping the spine somewhat straight also helps to keep breathing as unobstructed as possible. As long as it doesn’t put any strain on the knees, you might press lightly into the legs with the elbows as you fold forward to deepen the stretch. Hold for as long as feels comfortable. As you increase your flexibility, the forward bend is aided more and more by gravity, allowing you to release deeply into the pose and really surrender to the breath, which can be very rewarding.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!