Yes, this pose is traditionally called Baddha Konasana or Cobbler’s Pose. In a traditional class, the aim is to pull yourself forward and open your hips. However, in a more Yin style it is called Butterfly. In this variation the heels are further away from the hips and there is surrender rather than forcefulness. This pose decompresses the spine, wakes the upper and lower body and effects the 6 main lower body meridians according to Chinese Medicine (kidney, liver, spleen, urinary bladder, gall bladder, stomach).
For me Butterfly is like one-stop-shopping. Each morning I sit for 12 minute meditation and then move into this pose for 3-5 minutes. It has done a world of good and sets the tone for the day. If I have time, I move into a longer practice from there. In the evening, I work in the opposite manner. I begin with my practice, move into butterfly and then meditate. No matter what, each day, twice per day I meditate and do this pose. It is like an automatic reset.
Here’s how to do Butterfly:
- sit on the floor with weight equal in both hips
- bend knees and bring soles of the feet together
- move your feet forward so your legs are like a diamond
- place hands on ankles or under the shins and bend forward
- allow head to rest on feet, your arms or a bolster
- become still and relax your muscles- just be aware of sensations as they come and go
- surrender here and notice
- start with a one minute hold, then progress up to five minutes
- pause in neutral, sitting up and notice
If doing this pose does not feel good, here are some options:
- if your knee is bothering you, pad up with a soft prop like a folded blanket
- if you have disc issues or sciatica take this pose laying on your back
- if your hips are tight, elevate the hips by sitting on a folded blanket
Enjoy your practice!