Butterfly Pose improves flexibility and reduces tension. It’s ideal for people with tight hips from excessive sitting or high-intensity workouts. It also promotes calm and encourages inner awareness.

A classic hip opener, Butterfly Pose is also called Bound Angle Pose or Cobbler Pose. In Sanskrit, it’s known as Baddha Konasana.

Butterfly Pose is suitable for all levels, so it’s a useful addition to most yoga routines.

This article outlines how to do Butterfly Pose, its benefits, and the ways it helps during pregnancy.

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You can do Butterfly Pose near the beginning or end of your yoga routine or on its own.

Tips for practicing Butterfly Pose:

  • Sit on the edge of a cushion or folded blanket. This increases comfort and makes it easier to sit up straight.
  • To increase the intensity of the stretch, position your feet closer to your hips.
  • For more comfort, place cushions or blocks under your thighs or knees.
  • Sit against a wall for spinal support.

To do Butterfly Pose:

  1. Begin in a seated position.
  2. Gently bend your knees and press the soles of your feet together.
  3. Interlace your fingers around the pinkie-toe side of your feet or place your hands on your ankles or shins.
  4. Lengthen your spine and broaden across your chest.
  5. Draw your shoulders down and back.
  6. Stay in this position for up to 5 minutes.
  7. To release the pose, extend your legs forward and lean back on your hands.

Butterfly Pose offers several benefits and is a popular posture in yoga classes such as Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin. Sitting upright and elongating your spine in Butterfly Pose helps improve posture and body awareness.

The pose targets the low back, hip, and thigh muscles, helping to reduce pain, encourage flexibility, and increase range of motion.

Overall, Butterfly Pose has a soothing, relaxing effect both physically and mentally and may help boost energy levels. It may also help release emotions stored in your hips and the surrounding areas.

To enhance these stress-relieving effects, focus on deep breathing or practice a breathing exercise while you’re in the pose.

While research on individual yoga poses is limited, there is substantial research on yoga routines that include Butterfly Pose. Read on to take a look at some of the current research surrounding the benefits of including Butterfly Pose in your yoga routine.

Enhances pelvic health

One small study created a therapeutic yoga program for women with chronic pelvic pain. The women attended twice-weekly yoga classes that featured 12 yoga postures, including Butterfly Pose. The instructors guided the women to practice yoga at home for 1 hour per week.

After 6 weeks, the women experienced reductions in the severity of their pelvic pain and its impact on daily activities, emotional well-being, and sexual function (1).

Improves mindfulness

You can use Butterfly Pose to develop inner awareness and to prepare your body to sit for extended periods during meditation. Holding the posture for longer periods allows you to practice sitting with sensations that arise, including discomfort and restlessness.

In another small study, people who took part in a 6-week program consisting of a 60-minute Vinyasa yoga class followed by a 30-minute guided meditation experienced significant increases in mindfulness skills and decreases in anxiety and stress levels (2).

Eases stress

Butterfly Pose helps loosen up your low back, hips, and inner thighs, which may ease discomfort and help you feel better overall. It can also have a calming, relaxing effect, which may help you manage and let go of stress.

According to a recent research review, most types of yoga are beneficial in reducing stress in healthy populations (3).

Reduces depression

Practicing Butterfly Pose as part of a yoga routine may help improve mood and reduce depression.

The results of a small study suggest that yoga may reduce the severity of depression in people with mild to moderate major depression. People who participated in twice-weekly 90-minute Hatha yoga classes for 8 weeks had significantly reduced depression severity (4).

You can safely include Butterfly Pose in your prenatal yoga routine throughout your pregnancy. It helps relieve tension and tightness in your low back, hips, and inner thighs, which increases flexibility and promotes relaxation.

The posture also builds strength and boosts circulation in your pelvic floor muscles. These benefits may help you physically prepare for childbirth and may encourage a smooth delivery (5).

Prenatal yoga may also help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression and decrease pain response while improving immunity and emotional well-being (6).

There are several variations of Butterfly Pose. You can do these poses individually or use them to create a Butterfly Pose sequence.

Forward bending Butterfly Pose

You can stack blocks and cushions to support your forehead or use a cushion to support your torso.

  1. Begin in Butterfly Pose.
  2. Slowly hinge at your hips to fold forward.
  3. Extend your arms in front of you, reaching out through your fingertips.
  4. Stay in this position for up to 5 minutes.

Reclined Butterfly Pose

You can place a cushion or bolster along your spine or underneath your shoulders. You can also use blocks and cushions to create an incline support.

  1. Begin in Butterfly Pose.
  2. Using your hands for support, gently lie on your back.
  3. Stay in this position for up to 10 minutes.

Legs-up-the-Wall Butterfly Pose

This Butterfly Pose variation supports the spine and is ideal for people who have low back pain.

  1. Sit with your right side next to a wall.
  2. Bend your knees in toward your chest.
  3. Swing your legs up against the wall and turn to lie down on your back.
  4. Position your hips against the wall or slightly away.
  5. Bend your knees as wide as you can.
  6. Lower your heels as low as you can.
  7. Press the soles of your feet together.
  8. Stay in this position for up to 10 minutes.

Butterfly Pose encourages energized awareness while allowing you to unwind, let go of stress, release emotions, and feel at ease.

Practicing this posture consistently may help improve posture and relieve tightness in your low back, hips, and inner thighs. It’s ideal for anyone who sits for long periods or has an overuse injury from an activity such as cycling.

Butterfly Pose is appropriate for most levels, though you must exercise caution or avoid the pose if you have groin or knee concerns. You can add Butterfly Pose to your yoga routine or do it on its own whenever you want to center yourself or gently stretch your hips.