How To Do Butterfly Pose A (Baddha Konasana ‘A’ )
Baddha Konasana is a restorative pose from the benevolent Hatha Yoga Series. A significant asana when it comes to relaxing the body and mind, the pose gets its name from the placement of the body. ‘Badha’ means ‘Bounded’, ‘Kana’ means ‘Angle’, and ‘Asana’ means ‘Pose’, which combine to become Bound Angle Pose, another name for the pose in English. Just like a butterfly flaps its wings, the pose requires the practitioner to flap his or her legs, lending it the popular name and that is the Butterfly Pose or Baddha Konasana.
Teachers use this pose in almost all of their series. Sometimes, it is used to enhance the grounding practice and healing, whereas other times it is used to open hips or to alleviate lower backache. Let us understand the various Baddha Konasana Iyengar steps, learn some modifications and Baddha Konasana benefits with contraindications.
Step-By-Step Instructions on How to Do Baddha Konasana:
Step 1: Be seated with the spine erect and legs stretched out.
Step 2: Gently, bend both the legs from the knee to join the soles of the feet of both the legs together. With both the hands, grab both the feet soles from the outside and as you grip the soles, the thumbs stay up while the fingers are slipped underneath the feet.
Step 3: Keeping the spine elongated at all times, bring the feet soles closer to the groin. Try to press the thighs to the floor throughout the pose, but don’t create unnecessary pressure on the knees as well. Target is to create extra pressure on the legs.
Step 4: Now, draw the belly in and as you exhale, keep the spine elongated and bend down to reach the chest to the floor in front of you. Beginners can try to touch the nose to the floor or the toes, if they are unable to touch the chest to the spine.
Step 5: As you spend time in the pose, try to place the elbows on the calves to create a little pressure on the legs and help the thighs to stay stretched and touch the floor (if possible) at all times. Inhale and exhale deeply. Try to keep the breath long and deep.
Step 6: Stay in the Baddha Konasana Yoga Pose for a minimum of 5 to 7 breaths and gradually come back up.
Modifications & Variations
With a minor to little modification, beginners can take the respite of extending the feet a little further away from the groin and not keep it too close. This is to say that the diamond formed by the joining the feet soles can be extended a little away to offer ease in performing the Yoga of Baddha Konasana. This will also help the practitioner to go further down in Butterfly Pose or Baddha Konasana.
Another way to experience a stretch in a safe manner calls for using two folded blankets. Roll two blankets and place one under the outer edge of each thigh. You can also add a sandbag and place on each groin area in a way that it becomes horizontal to the crease of the pelvis and the thigh. Loosen the heads of the thighs and experience the stretch of this pose. This is the true way of Baddha Konasana Yoga.
A folded blanket can also be placed under the buttocks and the sit bones can be placed on it. This will help the beginners to go deeper into the pose, stay longer and reap higher benefits of Baddha Konasana.
Benefits & Advantages
- A semi-forward bend, the Baddha Konasana Yoga is great at stretching the inner thighs, groins, knee, and works magically as a hip opener.
- It promotes digestion by massaging the organs in the stomach and helps remove bowel-related disorders
- Women suffering from menstrual cramps or experiencing symptoms of menopause can gain a heightened relief because this pose releases the tension from the uterus.
- The act of dangling the head forward helps remove a headache, heaviness, and brain fog with this pose.
- People with a weaker lower back or those suffering from lower backache due to an excessively sedentary lifestyle can experience a sense of relief immediately on practicing this pose.
- As mentioned earlier as well, this restorative Baddha Konasana Yoga Pose is targeted towards bringing the focus of the practitioner inwards. The forward fold of the pose enhances the blood circulation to the forehead thereby relieving stress and tension.
Just like every coin has two sides, every pose has some limitations and should not be performed under a range of circumstances. Practitioners suffering from lower backache should ensure that the spine is erect at all times and not rounded up. Also, people suffering from sciatica problem should avoid this pose altogether or be seated on a cushion to raise the hips to create an extra space in the lower back which will help the practitioner to go further down and reap more of Baddha Konasana benefits. People suffering from a knee injury or injuries related to groin should use blankets under the outer thighs to lend lift to the thigh and remove any discomfort. Pregnant ladies should perform this pose under expert guidance.
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