Bound Angle Pose / Butterfly Pose  -Baddha Konasana

Step by step

  • Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you, you may want to sit on a blanket or pillow to raise your hips, so you can sit with a straight back.
  • Bring your feet towards you and place the soles of the feet together.
  • For Baddha Konasana, bring your heels in as close as possible to your pelvis. For Butterfly pose (which is a Yin yoga variation) your heels can be comfortably away from you making a diamond shape with your legs. 
  • Let the knees fall out to the sides.
  • Release your groins, the head of the thigh bones, and allow the knees to relax down as well, don’t push them.
  • Hold your big toes with the first two fingers and your thumb, or hold the outsides of your feet.
  • Keep your pelvis level, sit with a straight back.
  • Firm your shoulderblades into your upper back, to help open your heart.
  • You can stay in this pose for 5 - 10 breaths or longer if you are practising Butterfly in a Yin class.
  • To come out you lift your knees and straighten your legs again.

Beginners tips

  • Are you finding it difficult to sit up straight, is your back rounding? Place a folded blanket or block under your hips to keep the pelvis and spine upright.
  • Ankles sore? Try moving your feet further away from your groin.
  • Strain in your inner thighs and groin? Place some supports under your knees or raise your feet on a block or pillow.

Benefits

  • Helps in opening your hips.
  • Stretches groins, inner thighs and ankles.
  • Grounding and uplifting for your mood.
  • Stimulates the circulation in the pelvic area.

Watch out for...

  • Fatigue. If you are nearing your limit, one tends to forget about posture and so the lower back can slump. Keep your chest open and lifted and your back straight.
  • Overstretching, don't force your knees down to make a certain shape. Work on gradually lowering the knees using the exhalations to help release the muscles.

Variations

  • If you are comfortable in the Bound Angle Pose come into a forward fold variation. On an exhale bring your chest forward between the knees. Hinge from the hips not the waist.
  • Remember to keep your back straight. Your arms can be stretched out in front of you (depending on flexibility) or place your elbows against your inner thighs or calves.
  • Butterfly Pose is the Yin Yoga version of Bound Angle. In Butterfly the heels are much further away from the body so that the legs make a diamond shape. Allow the back to round as you softly fold into the pose. You can stay here for 1 - 5 minutes.