Deborah Bagg, a native of South Africa, is best known for her Earth Mother wisdom as a birth doula and women's circle facilitator. In 2005, she earned her Masters in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder. There, she met her life-long teacher, Sofia Diaz, who started her on the path of sacred feminine yoga. Bagg describes her teaching style as a marriage of alignment and joyful flow. Her students note her funny, funky nature. Here Bagg tells us more about the ultimate female pose, Baddha Konasana:
YogaCity NYC: What pose did you chose and why do you like it?
Deborah Bagg: I chose Baddha Konasana because it is an asana that can be integrated into other shapes too. You can take the shape in an upside down, laying down and sitting up position. I love its versatility. It is also an important shape for women’s health and well being. The asana mobilizes the hips, releases the inner thighs and groins. It’s also a great shape for pregnant and menstruating women. Depending on how you orient yourself in Baddha you can feel the subtle effects on your breath and body. The fist pose is to prepare for your menses, the second is for when you are menstruating and the third is for your awakening or post-menstrual phase.
YCNYC: Describe the anatomy of the first pose and body parts engaged.
DB: This variation creates space both in the pelvis and torso. The legs are externally rotated and with the feet pressing together, knees moving away from each other you get an opening through the inner thighs and groins. It increases circulation and allows for the breath to be spacious and free all the way from the top of the lungs down to the pelvic bowl. The block against the sacrum allows for stability and grounding and the block behind the upper back allows for length and lift.
YCNYC: What body parts are engaged in the second pose?
DB: Supta Baddha Kosanasa is an incredibly therapeutic shape. It’s a supportive, restorative and retreating like pose. It allows the belly and organic body to soften while working with gravity to gently open the pelvis and the torso. Because your body is supported, you are not in active engagement but rather in receptivity. It can be helpful for cramps and fatigue during the menstrual phase. It fosters a relaxed receptivity and sensitivity to the body and mind.
YCNYC: What is the overall effect of the third pose on the body, and what does this one add to the understanding of the pose [and mind].
DB: During the post-menstrual or awakening phase of the cycle, it is time to start the inversion and back bending practices again. This supported backbends allows for an invigorating energy to come into the body. Backbends open up the front of the spine and make room and space for the organs to extend and expand. Combining backbends with the elevated pelvis in baddha konasana allows for weight to be lifted off the pelvic floor. It is deeply nourishing to the ovaries, uterus and vagina. This shape is also wonderful for the