While undergoing several weeks of physical therapy treatments for a groin injury suffered in a senior softball game, my daughter Joy felt it would help me to also try yoga. She gave me a copy of an exercise called “Baddha Konasana” from the book, Yoga: The Iyengar Way, by Mira Silva and Shyam Mehta.
The yoga exercise, baddha konasana, is one of the sitting poses from the book. Further introductory information was provided: “This is the ‘cobbler’ pose. It strengthens the bladder and is invaluable for menstrual problems and in pregnancy.” So in addition to my injury, it might help me with one of those three areas.
Here’s the basic pose:
After studying the steps and photographic images involved in this yoga exercise, I gave it a try. Here’s how it went.
I removed my shoes and socks, slid the end of the exercise mat up under our sofa, and sat down on the mat with my back against the front of the sofa so I would have the suggested back support. (This sounded good because my lower back had also been sore for the previous month, in addition to my main groin injury.) I did a considerable amount of awkward crawling around on the floor to get the mat and my body in the proper position to start. In the sitting pose, I began working my feet along the mat toward my pubis, or perineum, tugging on my feet with my hands, while trying to flatten my thighs and calves toward the floor. As suggested on that page, for a moment I placed my fingertips behind my hips and tried to stretch the back of my body upward. That seemed to work fine.
As I inched my feet toward my perineum, my heels stopped short of the target zone by about 6-7 inches, and my knees and thighs angled upward from the floor at about 30 degrees! I then tried to bend over for a “Baddha Konasana forward bend,” pictured on the page, pressing my thighs downward with my elbows. I was only able to lean forward from the vertical position about 10 degrees at most, failing miserably to touch my forehead or chin on the floor as pictured. (I thought this part was premature for me anyway.)
Apparently I need a lot more practice (and probably a yoga teacher). However, I was encouraged somewhat by the “Baddha Konasana,” or “cobbler pose,” in that it strengthens the bladder. Not once during the effort did I ever have the urge to pee in my pants.
Thanks to Bill Cocke for reviewing a draft of this story. He is a retired Texas Instruments manufacturing manager and, as he put it, “a Senior Softball Geezer.”