Butterfly Pose is a wonderful pose for oiling up the hip joints and the entire pelvic region. It is the classic pose for women relieving premenstrual, menstrual and menopausal symptoms and is a great help for preparing the body for childbirth. It also tones up the bladder and eases kidney problems.

To practice Butterfly Pose:

  • Sit on a folded blanket against a wall with the back of the head, shoulder blades and buttocks in contact with the wall. When your back gets stronger, you can do without the wall.
  • Bend your knees until you can “sandwich” the soles of your feet together. (If you can’t do this, place a cushion between the soles of your feet, and hold your ankles instead. )
  • Clasp your hands around your toes and draw your feet in towards the pubic bone.
  • As you inhale, draw the spine upwards towards the crown of the head. Also lift the ribs, the sternum and the collar bones.
  • As you exhale, drop the sitting bones, tailbone, shoulders and knees downwards. The more the knees can drop downwards, the more the hips can open. But go easy. Otherwise, you can cause a groin strain.
  • Stay in the pose for 6 breaths. Inhale, straighten your legs and bounce them up and down to alleviate any stiffness.

NEED HELP? If you find it difficult to (a) hold the feet with the hands or (b) bring the feet close into the body, place a yoga belt or long scarf around the soles and hold it with your two hands. As you exhale, gently pull on the belt to help bring the feet closer into the body.

Variation: Supine Butterfly Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This variation of the pose is particularly helpful during pregnancy and menstruation or when you are just too tired to do any other poses.

  • Lie down on your mat with your arms by your sides.
  • Bend the knees placing the soles of the feet together as before.
  • With each exhalation, allow the knees to drop nearer to the floor. Or you can just simply bounce the knees up and down gently like the wings of a butterfly! Keep the tailbone moving down and slightly into the body and keep the pubic bone moving up towards the face.

STOP! Neither of these poses is recommended if you have had a hip replacement. If you have knee problems, place cushions under the knees and proceed very carefully.