Butterfly Pose, Cobbler’s Pose, Bound Angle Pose, Baddha Konasana – all names for the same pose in yoga. A great pose that we usually do seated, occasionally exploring reclined variations. Usually focussing on opening the hips. This version is very different. Lying on the back, with bodyweight and gravity to assist the stretch, its still a hip opener, but we shift the focus to the low back in a way that we just never can achieve on our own. This is an especially nice counterpose to a series of backbends 🙂
How to do Butterfly Pose:
- Stand near your partner’s feet as they lie on their back.
- Lift their heels and walk in toward their hips.
- Use your leg to bend their knee by bending your own knee into the back of their knee, then pivoting your leg to turn their leg out. Do this for both legs.
- Walk in a little closer, if possible, til your feet are at their outer hips.
- Holding the heels, circle your hands out into a wide arc til their soles come together. *This big circle helps to move the muscles into place so they don’t restrict access to the low back.
- Soften your knees and straighten your arms as you hold their feet together and apply gentle body weight, taking their toes toward their nose.
Benefits: Low back release, hip stretch.
Cautions: Watch the torque on your partner’s knees and keep it comfortable.
Butterfly Pose is a wonderful pose to explore the interplay between release in the hips and release in the low back. *Note that the following should only be done if you have a healthy spine as it requires a range of motion that spinal issues do not appreciate.
Exploring Butterfly Pose on your own:
Come into a seated position with soles together and knees wide. We are working from a
seated position to use gravity to help mimic your partner’s weight. You may wish to try this lying on your back, as well.
- Fold forward at the hips without rounding the spine. Hold for a few breaths. Notice how that feels.
- Try the same thing, but with your feet closer in to your groin.
- And, try again, with your feet further away from your groin.
- Now, fold forward allowing your spine to round. Hold for a few breaths and notice how this version of Butterfly pose feels.
- Try twice more, allowing the spine to round, with your feet closer in and, then, with your feet further away from your groin.
Each of these versions will likely feel very different. This will give you insight as to how to angle your partner’s hips and low back you come into this pose in Thai Yoga Massage. Juicy!
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