What is Butterfly Pose and Why Do It?
Butterfly Pose is an exercise in which a person sits on the floor, bends their knees fully, rotates their hips outward, and pulls their heels closer to their pelvis. In yoga, this position is called Baddha Konasana, or Bound Angle Pose.
First of all, this asana stretches the adductors and increases the range of motion of the hips.
According to research, lack of hip joint mobility increases the risk of low back pain, so the butterfly pose can be used to prevent back problems.
Also, this asana activates the pelvic floor muscles, which support the internal organs and affect sexual function in both men and women.
Who Shouldn’t Do Butterfly Pose
Lack of movement in the hip joints can put more pressure on the knees and ankles. Therefore, it is better not to do the butterfly pose for injuries and diseases of the knee and ankle joints. It should also be avoided for pain in the lower back and sacrum.
How to do the butterfly pose correctly
Sit on the floor, straighten your back, stretch your legs in front of you. Then bend your knees alternately and bring your feet closer to your groin. Connect your heels and press the outside of your feet to the ground.
Let your hips drop under their own weight. If they don’t lie on the floor at the same time, that’s fine.
Grasp your feet with your hands and turn them so the arches are pointing up.
Check that the weight of the body is distributed between the sitting bones, not shifting forward or backward. Tighten your stomach, straighten and lower your shoulders. Push your chest forward and tuck your chin in, stretching the back of your neck. Look down.
Breathe deeply and evenly. Let your knees sink to the ground under their own weight, but do not try to force it so as not to injure the muscles and ligaments.
How else can you perform the butterfly pose
There are several variations of this pose that will help you target different areas of your hips and deepen the stretch.
Forward leaning body
If you feel comfortable in the butterfly position (your hips rest freely on the floor and you don’t feel any discomfort or pain), try a variation with your body leaning forward. In addition to the adductors, it will also stretch the posterior extensors.
To start, take at least five breaths in the butterfly position without bending over, then bend at the hips and lean forward.
As you bend over, you will feel the tension in your thigh muscles increase. Find a spot where the sensations do not cause pain, linger there, and allow the body to go lower, breathing calmly and deeply.
Spend 5-8 breaths in the pose, then gently lift your body to a straight position, use your hands to bring your hips together, and stretch your legs forward.
With the placement of the feet further from the pelvis
Depending on how close the feet are to the groin, different muscles responsible for turning the thigh outward are tensed.
Move your feet about 15-30 cm from the pelvis to work all areas of the adductor muscles and stretch the hips.
In turn, stretch your arms forward and place your fingers on the floor, folding your hands in the form of a cup. Press your chin, look down, and spend six breaths in this pose.
With hands under knees
This variation is suitable for people with good flexibility and no joint or spine problems. It will help to better stretch your back and deepen the stretch in your hips.
Sit in a butterfly position with your feet about 15cm from your groin. Lean forward, place your hands under your knees and grab your feet, curling your fingers into the lock.
Straighten your back, push your chest forward, and then lower yourself down with an exhalation, pressing your legs to the floor with your shoulders. Place your forehead or chin on your feet and hold for six breaths.