Saddle pose

Step by step

  • Sit on your heels or in between your heels (depending on what’s comfortable for your knees and hips).
  • Lean back and slowly find your appropriate edge: stay on your hands, elbows or lie all the way down. Use a bolster along the spine as support.
  • Find a comfortable arm position: by your sides, or over your head. Knees can lift up, if no discomfort occurs.
  • You are looking for an opening sensation in the quadriceps, hip flexors, belly and chest, and a comfortable compression in the lower back.
  • Hold the pose for 1 to 5 minutes.
  • To come out of the pose, engage your core and use your arms to press yourself up.
  • Release the legs and lie down on your back for a few minutes.

Beginners tips

  • Place a rolled up blanket underneath the ankles.
  • Place a bolster, elevated with blocks, if needed, along the spine.
  • Try Half Saddle, keeping one leg straight.

Benefits

  • Stretches hip flexors and quadriceps.
  • Increases hip mobility.
  • Stimulates the Kidney, Spleen and Stomach meridians in the front body.
  • Stimulates the Urinary Bladder through compression in the lower back.

Watch out for

  • Avoid in case of knee injuries. If you feel a pull on the knees, place a cushion under the buttocks, and a bolster along the spine
  • In case of lower back issues, try Sphinx pose instead.

Variations

  • A cushion under the buttocks intensifies the backbend.
  • If you are looking for a deeper stimulation in the quadriceps and belly, try Half Saddle with one knee bent: From sitting on or in between your heels, straighten one leg out to the front. From there find your appropriate edge in the pose and bend the straight leg, placing your foot on the floor. Play with the position of your bent leg, allowing the knee to fall outwards or bringing it towards your chest.

Alternative poses

Counter pose

  • Savasana