Step by step
- From a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together, a comfortable distance away from your pelvis.
- Fold forward from the hips, allowing your spine to round, placing your hands in front of you.
- Relax your legs and spine and allow gravity to work with your body weight.
- Hold for 3 to 5 minutes. Eventually this pose can be held up to 20 minutes.
- To come out of the pose, use your hands to push the floor away and allow your spine to slowly unroll.
- Use your hands to bring your knees towards each other.
- Place your arms behind you and lean back to release your hips, and straighten your legs.
- Allow your body to settle in this seated position, before moving to a counter pose.
- You may want to sit on a folded blanket or a pillow to facilitate the folding forward action.
- You could support your knees / thighs with blocks if the sensation is too strong in the thighs or groin.
- If this pose is too intense for you, you might want to try a Reclined Butterfly variation.
- Stretches the spine, inner thighs and hamstrings.
- Increases hip mobility.
- Beneficial for menstrual pains.
- Stimulates kidneys, ovaries, adrenal and prostate glands.
- Stimulates the Urinary Bladder meridian along the spine.
- Stimulates the Kidney and Liver meridians if a stretch is felt along the inner thighs.
- Stimulates the Gall Bladder meridian if a stretch is felt along the hips.
Watch out for
- Can aggravate Sciatica
- In case of lower back injuries, explore the Reclined Butterfly version
- Adjust the position of your legs to allow your spine to fold forward: you might want to bring your feet closer to your pelvis or even separate your feet a few centimetres apart from each other.
- Support your head with your fists or a block in case of neck issues.
- Support your chest with a bolster placed across your thighs.
- Support your chest and head by placing a bolster on your feet, towards your pelvis and elevate the furthest part of the bolster with blocks.
- Place folded blankets or blocks under your knees if the groin or hips are tight.
- If you are very comfortable in this pose, a wheat-filled bolster or sandbag could be placed along the spine and/or on the thighs (never on the knees).
- Try Butterfly at the wall: lie with your hips against the wall, legs up. Bend the knee, placing the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to open up to the sides.
- Reclined Butterfly
- Reversed Tabletop
- Windshield Wipers