Butterfly pose (Baddha Konasana)
The Butterfly pose is one of the simplest, yet most effective asanas that you can practice. Some yogic practitioners also call it the Bound Angle Pose. It is a beginner-friendly pose that delivers a lot. Here you will learn how to do the pose, to gain maximum returns. Additionally, you will also come across safe tips for practice, the benefits of butterfly pose, and some of the common mistakes that you can avoid. You will also come across several modifications and variations so that everyone can practice it. The contraindications are also listed below.
How to Do Butterfly Pose:
- You have to start in the Staff pose, or Dandasana. You have to sit with the legs stretched in front of you, and the back erect. You must not stress too much.
- Slowly, you have to fold the legs and bring the heels towards the pelvis. You must try to drop the knees towards the floor, in a manner that they are in contact.
- In the next instance, you must hold the toes with the help of your hand. If you have tight hip muscles, do not put a lot of pressure while trying to get the heels as close as possible to the groin area or pelvis.
- Moreover, you have to sit in a manner, so that the tailbone and pubis remain at the same distance away from the floor.
- You must try to lengthen the spine. Moreover, it should be straight and not hunched.
- Hold this position for a few breath counts. Keep breathing normally. There are a few individuals who rock the knees and legs while holding the feet. You can also try it out.
- After you have completed a cycle, you can lower the legs. And, return back to the original position. Relax.
Tips for Beginners
- If you have a groin injury or any sort of knee injury, then you must abstain from doing the pose.
- You can use a folded blanket or a cushion underneath your buttocks, to help lift your pelvis forward. New practitioners often face rounding of the lower back region, when sitting on the floor. So, the above prop will help in solving the issue.
- You have to focus on elongating your spine and keeping your chest open, rather than bringing the knees in contact with the floor.
- If you have weak core muscles, you may face difficulty in keeping the knees hanging for a long time. In such a case, a strap may come to your assistance.
- Do not worry about being perfect, while you are practicing this pose.
- Do not force yourself ever. Take it slowly.
Health Benefits of Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana):
- If you are expecting, then this pose will help you in strengthening the pelvis area. Thus, your delivery will be smooth and effortless. s, your delivery will be smooth and effortless.
- When you rock the knees and legs or make them flutter like a butterfly’s wings, blood flow to the reproductive organs increases. This also stimulates the sexual organs, and you can gain in terms of sexual health as well.
- The blood flow toward the prostate glands also increases.
- When you practice deep breathing, while practicing this asana, the respiratory system gets an ample oxygen supply.
- If you have a problem with Sciatic nerves, daily practice of this asana can relieve you of the associated pain symptoms.
- The fluttering movement helps in increased blood flow toward the abdominal region. So, your digestion power is also enhanced.
Butterfly pose variations:
Although the simple Butterfly pose is very effective on its own, you can add in a few variations to remove monotony.
- Supta Baddha Konasana – This is a Supine Butterfly pose. Sit in the main posture, and then lean your back towards the ground. The outer heels of both feet must join. Moreover, you must draw the feet closer to the pelvis. You can either keep the hands by your side or hold them in a ‘Namaste’ above your head.
- Ardha Baddha Konasana – You can start with the simple Baddha Konasana. Spread one leg outwards, while keeping the other one in contact with the inner thigh. After inhalation, you can lift both hands overhead and then lean forward. Try to take the hands as far as possible. This is a good posture to increase flexibility.
- Twisted Butterfly Pose or Revolved Butterfly Pose – It is a variation of the plain Butterfly pose, wherein you twist the body and place one hand on the opposite knee. The other hand can be placed at the back.
These postures can provide you with a whole lot of benefits. You can choose props, like blankets and cushions to help you practice the poses comfortably.
Contraindications Of The Butterfly Pose
- You must avoid practicing this pose if you have Sciatica.
- If you suffer from a knee injury or Arthritis, you must avoid this pose.
- If there is discomfort while doing the posture, you should not continue and avoid it altogether.
- Pregnant women must refrain from practicing this pose, after the first trimester.
- Menstruating females must avoid this pose.
Other Asanas Similar To The Butterfly Pose
The Butterfly Pose is a great hip opener. Moreover, it gives you a lot of flexibility and assists with movement. However, there are many other poses, which have the same attributes. Do read about them here.
- Pigeon Pose – This is another great hip opener. You can begin the pose, by setting yourself into a low lunge position, with the right foot in front. Slide the left leg back, and settle down on the floor. You have to fold the right leg and place the feet close to the pelvis. The hands remain by the side.
- Cat-Cow Pose – You can do this as a gentle warmup for the other asanas. Start in a table-top position, and inhale and arch your back, while lifting the tailbone and head towards the ceiling. Exhale and round your spinal cord, while bringing the tailbone down and your chin tucked into your chest. You can repeat this a few times.
- Seated Forward Fold – It is called Paschimottasana in Sanskrit. You have to sit in the Dandasana pose. Thereafter, you have to fold the upper body from the waist and try to reach the feet with arms extended. The forehead should ideally touch the knees. This is an excellent stretching and spine-elongating pose.
Baddha Konasana, Butterfly pose, or Bound Angle pose, no matter what you call it, is a beginner-level pose. It provides the practitioner with huge physical, mental, as well as emotional benefits. You can combine it with the other hip opening asanas or poses listed above. Seek guidance from professionals, to practice the asana safely in the initial days of your practice.
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