How To Do Butterfly Pose in Yoga

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Butterfly pose (referred to as Baddha Konasana in Sanskrit) is a beginner-friendly yoga pose that helps open up your hips and ease pressure.

It additionally helps stretch and strengthen many alternative muscle groups in your higher legs. This makes it an exquisite stretch for folks with tight hip flexors, resembling runners or people who’ve a desk job, in keeping with Emily Forte, E-RYT 500, YACEP, lead yoga instructor at YogaSix in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania.

To get probably the most out of this seated yoga posture, we spoke to Forte on methods to do butterfly pose in yoga correctly and all of the totally different variations you’ll be able to attempt to deepen the stretch.

The right way to do butterfly pose in yoga the precise approach each time

Picture: Emily Forte

  1. Begin by sitting on a yoga mat along with your legs prolonged out in entrance of you.
  2. Bend your knees to carry the soles of your ft collectively evenly from toes to heels.
  3. Grasp your ft along with your arms.
  4. Sit up tall with a straight backbone, partaking your core muscle groups to help your again.
  5. You possibly can attempt gently urgent your knees down towards the ground along with your arms if it is comfy for you. Hold the soles of your ft collectively all through the pose.
  6. Keep within the pose for not less than 30 seconds.
  7. To return out of the pose, slowly carry your knees collectively and lengthen your legs out in entrance of you.

Butterfly pose muscle groups labored

Butterfly pose in yoga principally targets the muscle groups in your thighs and core. Here is a breakdown of all of the muscle groups butterfly pose works.

  • Adductors: These are your interior thigh muscle groups, they usually lengthen down from the pelvic bone all the way down to the interior thigh and knee. As you carry your knees out to the perimeters, you may really feel your adductors getting stretch. Folding ahead within the pose (a variation you may see under) might help you deepen the inner-thigh stretch much more.
  • Quadriceps: Also called quads, or your entrance thigh muscle groups, the butterfly provides you a pleasant quad stretch whereas opening your hip flexors.
  • Decrease again muscle groups: Butterfly pose might help soothe pressure in your decrease again muscle groups alongside your backbone.
  • Abdominals: Sitting up straight within the pose might help work your ab muscle groups in your core, enhancing your posture.

Butterfly pose advantages

1. It loosens tight hips and again

Butterfly pose strengthens your interior thigh muscle groups, decrease again, and the entrance of your thighs. That is what makes it an “vital stretch for anybody who sits at a desk a lot of the day, which may trigger hip flexors to be weak, or runners and athletes which will have tight hip flexors,” Forte says.

Tight hips and again can contribute to poor posture and discomfort, which you may really feel if in case you have a desk job, and may even mess along with your physique’s alignment. Frequently doing butterfly pose might help loosen these tight hip flexors and enhance your flexibility and vary of movement.

2. It is protected throughout being pregnant

Butterfly pose is protected and useful to do throughout being pregnant as a result of it may well assist launch pressure in your low again, hips, and interior thighs, in keeping with Forte.

“Butterfly pose can even construct energy within the pelvic ground muscle groups and assist with circulation within the pelvic ground area. Having a robust pelvic ground can even lower the pressure the muscle groups expertise throughout being pregnant and may later help with labor and supply,” Forte says.

If the pose is troublesome or uncomfortable throughout being pregnant, attempt positioning your ft farther away from the groin space.

3. It could assist enhance your posture

Butterfly pose requires you to take a seat in an upright place, which engages your core and decrease again. These two muscle teams are important for good posture, so including butterfly pose to your routine extra typically may simply enable you arise taller.

4. It would assist strip away stress

Yoga is understood to assist calm the thoughts, and including the butterfly pose to your observe may enable you let go of stress in your interior thighs and hips. A July 2020 assessment in Alternative Therapies In Health and Medicine concluded that many yoga practices are useful for decreasing stress.

Butterfly pose variations

Completely different variations of a pose might help you deal with particular areas of tightness or weak point. Right here, Forte shares her go-to butterfly pose variations to attempt if seated butterfly is not difficult sufficient.

 1. Butterfly pose with ahead bend

Yoga teacher demonstrating butterfly pose with forward bend
Picture: Emily Forte

  1. Begin by sitting on a yoga mat along with your legs prolonged out in entrance of you.
  2. Bend your knees to carry the soles of your ft collectively evenly from toes to heels.
  3. Grasp your ft along with your arms.
  4. Sit up tall with a straight backbone, partaking your core muscle groups to help your again.
  5. Slowly start to hinge your torso ahead, permitting your backbone to spherical as quickly as you are feeling a sensation or tightness in your low again.
  6. Draw your gaze down at your ankles or into your thighs or stomach button and decrease the highest of your head towards your ft.
  7. To return out of the pose, slowly elevate your torso again up, carry your knees collectively, and lengthen your legs out in entrance of you.

2. Supine butterfly pose with bolster

Yoga teacher demonstrating supine butterfly pose with bolster
Picture: Emily Forte

  1. Begin from a seated place along with your knees collectively.
  2. Information your ft away out of your physique, then slide a bolster vertically beneath your knees and between your sit bones and heels.
  3. Slowly roll again onto your arms, the again of your arms, and to your again.
  4. When you’re in your again, open your knees out to the perimeters, and really feel the bolster supporting your knees and outer thighs.

3. Butterfly pose with strap

Yoga teacher demonstrating butterfly pose with strap
Picture: Emily Forte

  1. Begin by sitting on a yoga mat along with your legs prolonged out in entrance of you.
  2. Bend your knees to carry the soles of your ft collectively evenly from toes to heels.
  3. Create one lengthy loop along with your strap or yoga belt and place it behind your again on high of your hip bones.
  4. Slide your ft 4 to five inches away out of your physique and place the opposite finish of the loop across the high of your ft.
  5. Tighten your strap or loop till you are feeling mild strain in your hips and ft.
  6. Sit up tall with a straight backbone, partaking your core muscle groups to help your again.
  7. To return out of the pose, slowly carry your knees collectively and lengthen your legs out in entrance of you.

4. Supine butterfly pose with strap

Yoga teacher demonstrating supine butterfly pose with strap
Picture: Emily Forte

  1. Begin from a seated place along with your knees collectively.
  2. Hold some size on the loop of your strap. Wrap it round your hips and your ft.
  3. Slowly roll again onto your arms, the again of your arms, and to your again.
  4. If you do not have sufficient pressure or do not feel a “hugging” sensation in your low again and ft, sit again up and tighten your strap. In distinction, in the event you really feel as if the strap is pulling your knees up, or you’ll be able to’t roll to your again whereas preserving it in place, lower the stress in your strap, and add size till your really feel comfy.
  5. When you’re in your again, open your knees out to the perimeters, and really feel the bolster supporting your knees and outer thighs.

5. Butterfly pose with legs up towards wall

Yoga teacher demonstrating butterfly pose with legs up against wall
Picture: Emily Forte

  1. Place your yoga mat perpendicular to a wall and place a cushion proper up towards the wall.
  2. Sit along with your left aspect towards the wall.
  3. Gently flip your physique to the left and thoroughly swing your legs up the wall.
  4. Decrease your again to the ground and lie down, inserting your arms in your abdomen.
  5. Slide the soles of your ft collectively and permit your knees to widen.

Tip: Add a bolster beneath your low again for help and luxury if wanted.

Frequent errors made in butterfly pose

Ache is not an indication you are doing a pose proper. If you happen to begin to really feel a sensation within the decrease again whilst you’re in butterfly pose, Forte recommends rounding your backbone and rolling your head towards your ft. This might help relieve among the pressure in your decrease again.

One other frequent mistake Forte sees: “College students typically pull their legs in too near their groin, which may additionally result in low again ache, or knee ache.”

To repair this, carry your ft farther away out of your physique to launch discomfort and promote a deeper stretch in your hips, she says.

Tricks to stop damage

As beginner-friendly as butterfly pose is, you may nonetheless need to take heed to your physique and take note of any ache factors. If in case you have knee or groin accidents, contemplate avoiding doing butterfly pose altogether or making an attempt modifications.

If in case you have knee ache, utilizing rolled-up blankets or yoga blocks beneath every knee might help pad the world, Forte says.

Doing  butterfly pose with a ahead fold may trouble folks with sciatica or decrease again points, and the supine model could also be a greater possibility for these with sciatica ache. If in case you have sciatica or decrease again ache, keep seated upright with an extended backbone and a lifted torso, Forte says. “It could additionally assist to remain seated towards a wall, or slide a block beneath the ft for spinal help.”

FAQ

1. How do you incorporate butterfly pose into your yoga observe?

Strive including butterfly pose to the cooldown portion of a aware yoga observe, as your hips could already be stretched from working towards different poses, like lunges or warriors.

“You can even add the supine variations or legs-up-the-wall model as a variation of Savasana, or the ultimate resting pose,” Forte says. “Butterfly pose can also be an important pose to include right into a yin or restorative practice to focus on the hips, particularly the supine model with a bolster or a strap.”

2. What number of minutes ought to I do butterfly pose?

You possibly can keep in seated butterfly for five to10 minutes, Forte recommends. If you happen to’re making an attempt the supine or legs-up-the-wall variations of butterfly, attempt staying within the pose for 10 to twenty minutes “to launch muscle pressure and to activate the parasympathetic nervous system—our ‘relaxation and digest’ or leisure response,” Forte says.

“Lengthy holds of butterfly pose can even promote myofascial launch in our connective tissues and stimulate anti-inflammatory results,” she says.

As with all pose, come out or draw your knees again collectively in the event you really feel discomfort. (Questioning how often you should do yoga generally? We bought you coated.)

3. Who shouldn’t do butterfly pose?

Individuals with knee or groin accidents could be finest off avoiding butterfly pose. If you happen to really feel ache or discomfort in a pose, slowly ease out of it and contemplate a modification or skipping the pose altogether.

It is a sensible thought to test with a bodily therapist earlier than including new actions to your routine if in case you have any ache or accidents.


Nicely+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, latest, sturdy research to again up the data we share. You possibly can belief us alongside your wellness journey.


  1. Wang F, Szabo A. Results of Yoga on Stress Amongst Wholesome Adults: A Systematic Overview. Altern Ther Well being Med. 2020 Jul;26(4):AT6214. PMID: 32088671.




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