Is it extreme to bind your upper thighs like a very tightly wrapped sausage and then crank them into the deepest external rotation you can manage?
Yes, but it’s worth it.
Hip joints are strong and well protected. Knees are much more vulnerable. When you increase your ability to externally rotate your thighs, your hips will become more flexible and you’ll be able to move into bent-knee poses with less risk of injury. All that and your Baddha Konasana (bound-angle pose) will improve, and you’ll have greater ease of movement.Two straps make this preparation more efficient, but one will do nicely – it will just take longer.
Sit on the floor. Make a loop in the strap and slip your leg into the loop. Make sure that the buckle faces up and the tail of the strap sits out to the side of your thigh.
Tighten the strap. Now take the tail of the strap under your thigh and wrap it around, rotating the thigh outward. Keep binding your thigh until you have just enough strap left to hold and pull down with your hands. You should feel a strong rotation of your thighbone in your hip socket.Bring the soles of your feet together and sit in Baddha Konasana.
If your knees are higher than your navel, sit on a chip foam block, or a bolster.
Benefits: Baddha Konasana steadies your body and mind, which is why it can be used for meditation and pranayama (breath work). It also increases circulation through your pelvic area and brings a strong stretch to your inner thighs. Use the straps to make a stronger external rotation than you could on your own, and you will teach your body the feeling of rotation necessary for safely moving into poses such as Padmasana (lotus).
Sequence: Try this preparation whenever you have a chance to sit on the floor. To deepen your work in other poses, place it before standing poses that require external rotation of your front leg, such as triangle pose and warrior II. It’s particularly useful early in a practice of sitting poses.
Ouch: Pay attention to the sensation in your hip joint. Make it strong but not painful. Respect your tightness. If you are working with a knee injury, move especially slowly. If you experience any pain, especially in your inner knee, ask your teacher for help.
Sanskrit Corner: Say BAH-dah cone-AHS-anna. Baddha means bound. Kona means angle. Asana means pose.