If you have ever been to the gym or practiced a fitness session under the guidance of a fitness trainer, then you must have already done this excellent stretch without even knowing that this is a yoga pose. The butterfly fold yoga is a great hip-opening pose that is a must-do irrespective of the type of your fitness routine. Some people appear to be able to hold the butterfly posture for the duration of a yoga session because they like it and almost seem to melt into it. Others may find this to be a difficult stance that elicits a wide range of feelings. It’s not unusual for emotions to arise, regardless of whether you find this stance simple or difficult. Sensations frequently surface during poses whenever we practice hip openers.
Preparing for the pose
We’d like to take a minute to speak a little bit about alignment in general, yoga teachers creating a place where learners can tune in and pay attention to their bodies, students taking ownership of their bodies, and understanding the depths of yoga practice before we go any farther with the yoga butterfly posture.
If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, at least one of your teachers has likely mentioned “excellent alignment,” but what exactly does it mean? Is it stealing a photo that you saw on Instagram or in a book? Is it when every pupil in the room assumes the same position and looks the same? Should we all aim to achieve the same aesthetic standard?
No, we don’t think that constitutes “excellent alignment” and we don’t think you should ever try to make a pose—any pose—look a specific way. The concept of “universal alignment” does not exist. Everybody has a diverse body with varying degrees of strength, flexibility, and mobility. Each of us has a unique backstory, so trying to make us all appear the same in a posture is simply unrealistic and will have negative consequences. Consider the butterfly posture in yoga. Some individuals have incredibly open hips, thus bending forward in the posture will seem very natural to them.
Others, however, might be unable to simply fold forward due to less wide hips, an injury, or another factor. Both are doing the posture correctly and making the most of their respective bodies.
What does the butterfly pose entail?
One of the most important yoga poses listed in the Hatha Yoga literature is the butterfly posture, also known as Baddha Konasana. This stance is called the Cobbler’s Pose for a reason as you will see traditional cobblers in India sitting in this position all day long. Traditional Cobblers work in their fields and have been accustomed to adopting this posture over generations. It is also noted that among India’s traditional cobblers, urinary diseases and disorders are quite uncommon simply because they sit in this position all day.
How to do the Butterfly Yoga Pose?
- Bring your feet together while seated, keeping them comfortably apart from your pelvis.
- Your hands should be in front of you as you bend forward into the hips and allow your spine to round.
- Relax your spine and legs, and let gravity support your weight.
- For 3 to 5 minutes, hold. Eventually, the duration of this posture might reach 20 minutes.
- Utilize your hands and put the floor away as you gently unroll your spine to exit the position.
- Bring your knees together by holding on with your hands.
- Lean back to relax your hips, straighten your legs, and place your arms behind you.
- Before switching to a counter stance, give your body some time to adjust to this seated position.
Benefits of Butterfly Fold Yoga Pose
Improves Urological Conditions: For people who have any type of urinary ailment or problem, this pose is highly advised.
Regulates Blood Supply: This asana stimulates the pelvis, abdomen, and back when pressure is applied to them, giving these organs a sufficient amount of blood to keep them robust and healthy.
Keeps the organs healthy: It preserves the well-being of the bladder, prostate, and kidneys.
Alleviates the risk of Hernia: This pose reduces the risk of developing one by improving the functions of the organs.
Eases Sciatica: This pose helps to ease sciatica pain, and after the pain is gone, the individual doing the pose will be able to do many other poses with ease.
Improves Testicular Health: If this pose is routinely done, it also aids in easing discomfort and heaviness in the testicles.
Strengthens and Stretches the Spine: By stretching the spine from the base up, this pose strengthens and stretches the spine. Those who experience painful and irregular menstrual periods might benefit from this asana, Sarvangasana, and cycles. Additionally, it supports healthy ovarian function.
Women who are pregnant: This pose assists pregnant women who practice it for a few minutes each day during their pregnancy to have painless deliveries and are clear of varicose veins. Dr Grantly Dick details all the advantages of the butterfly pose for expectant mothers in his book “Childbirth without Fear.”
Enhances digestion: You can do this pose fearlessly even after eating. If you perform this asana while sitting, it helps to promote and ease the digestive process.
Strengthens the Leg Muscles: This yoga position is fantastic for strengthening your leg muscles and increasing the flexibility of your knees and ankles. Legs become powerful and flexible due to the toned hamstring and calf muscles.
This yoga stance strengthens the hip muscles and groins, preparing the body for all seated yoga poses. Your reproductive organs will be happy and healthy thanks to this asana, which stimulates them. As a result, this pose efficiently treats all infertility-related problems.
Advanced Butterfly Fold Yoga Pose
After adopting the aforementioned position, if you wish to do this Pose at an advanced level, you can breathe out and bend forward while attempting to touch your head, nose, and chin to the floor. With regular breathing, you can hold this posture for roughly a minute. Take a deep breath in, lift your upper body off the ground, and sit back down. Right now, let go of your feet, straighten your legs, and unwind.
Butterfly pose while lying down (Supta Baddha Konasana)
You must stretch your legs out and relax while lying on your back on the floor in this position. Inhale deeply as you bring your feet together in the Namaste position. Now work as hard as you can to lower your knees to the ground. Supta Bhadrasana is the name of this asana. The hips, inner thighs, and chest may all be stretched out with this yoga pose. Make sure your shoulders and lower back are near to the floor while practicing this asana and aim to bring your outer knees down to the floor with each exhalation.
Variations to Butterfly Pose
- Adjust your legs’ posture so that your spine can bend forward. You might want to move your feet nearer to the pelvis or even space them apart by a few centimetres.
- If you have neck pain, hold your head with your fists or a block.
- Across your thighs, position a bolster to support your chest.
- Place a cushion on your feet, toward your pelvis, and raise the bolster’s furthest point with blocks to raise your chest and head.
- If your hips or groin feel tight, put folded blankets or blocks beneath your knees.
- If you feel really at ease in this position, you might lay a sandbag or wheat-filled bolster along your back and/or on your thighs.
- Try Butterfly at the wall by lying with your legs raised and your hips up against the wall. Knees should be bent, feet should be together, and your knees should be allowed to extend out to the sides.
Modifications to Butterfly Pose
Some of the modifications that you can adopt to achieve the butterfly pose are:
- To support your hips, you can keep blankets below the buttocks.
- To get the ideal level of stretch in the inner thighs, lay yoga blocks below the knees.
- If you have trouble holding your toes, you can grip onto your ankles.
- If your back is too weak to complete this asana regularly, you can utilize the wall as additional support.
Who should avoid or take precautions?
The thigh muscles are under a lot of strain in this yoga posture, therefore the person doing it needs to take additional precautions to avoid injuring himself by doing it too aggressively.
If you need assistance from someone else to do this asana, be sure that they don’t apply too much pressure to your thighs to risk damaging your muscles.
If you have sciatica pain, you should either avoid this pose or only undertake it with a professional’s supervision.
This yoga posture should be avoided by anyone who has recently had surgery or an operation, as well as anyone who is injured, especially in the thighs, knees, or feet.
If you are in menstruation, refrain from doing this asana.
If you have sciatica, either stay out of the posture entirely or sit on a cushion to lift your hips.
People with lower-back issues should only adopt the position while maintaining an upright spine. By leaning forward, you can avoid rounding up your back.
Other Hip Stretches and Poses
If the butterfly stretch isn’t for you, or, if you simply want a few complementary stretches, some alternatives can similarly stretch the same areas of your body.
- Tree Pose
- Lunge variations
- Supine, standing, and seated figure 4 stretch
- Warrior II
- Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
- Cow Face Pose
- Pigeon Pose
- Head-to-Knee Pose
- Hero Pose
- Knee-to-chest stretch
- Downward-Facing Frog
- Side Angle Pose
Tips to perform the Butterfly Pose
- When performing this asana, it is best to empty the stomach and bowels.
- Do not do this asana until two hours after your last meal.
- If you have a knee ailment, it is preferable to stay away from this pose.
- Be sure to place a blanket beneath your outer thighs for support if you have groin discomfort. Without a blanket to support you, avoid performing this stance.
For more hints please enojy this clip
How to do Butterfly Pose when pregnant?
When seated in the Butterfly Pose, pregnant women shouldn’t lean forward. Always be careful not to strain yourself while doing the posture; just practice it to the point where it can be done effortlessly and with little effort. If the practitioner is pregnant and finds it difficult to sit on the floor, she might provide some extra comfort by placing some blankets beneath her buttocks. Experts say that the butterfly fold yoga pose has huge benefits for pregnant women.
Who should not do Butterfly Pose?
This pose should not be performed by anyone who has had surgery or who has a thigh, knee, or foot injury.
How long should the Butterfly Pose be done?
You can remain in this position as long as you like; there is no time restriction. Traditional Indian cobblers spend the entire day in this position while they work, and they seldom ever experience any urinary problems.
One of the easiest hip openers is the butterfly stretch. It can be done safely every day and offers a wide range of advantages for people of all skill levels. Include it in your stretching practice or perform it on its own, but be patient as your flexibility improves. It stretches the hips and inner thighs and can start to reverse the negative consequences of spending too much time sitting at a desk or in a car. A “Swiss knife” of yoga poses, the butterfly pose, also known as baddha konasana, may be performed at any time and practically anywhere.