Today, let’s explore Bound Angle Pose, or Baddha Konasana, or if you have kiddies, Butterfly Pose. It’s a grounding pose that activates Muladhara, or the root chakra. It connects you with the energy of Mother Earth, makes you feel safe and secure, and opens your hips while you’re at it.
As mentioned above, this pose classifies as a hip opener. It also stretches the groin, the ankles and feet, and strengthens the back. It’s a great pose for pregnancy, and you can practice it in every trimester. Plus they say it helps with delivery, so enjoy, all my preggie yoginis out there!
It’s good for the rest of you too...so don’t be shy!
Step by Step
- Begin in Easy Pose or Staff Pose — sitting comfortably with your Sitz bones flat on the mat.
- Draw your heels toward your pelvis. Place the soles of the feet together.
- Clasp around your feet/toes with interlaced fingers.
- Relax your groin to open your knees, and watch as they begin to melt towards the mat.
- Subtly rotate your pelvis so you rest on the top of your Sitz bones, and extend through the spine.
- Actively ground down into the earth as you simultaneously extend out through the crown of your head — one long line of energy from your sit bones through your crown.
- Hold for 3-5 minutes.
Tips, Tricks, and Restrictions
- I like to sit on a rolled up blanket or two to elevate my hips and encourage a straight lower back.
- Elevating the hips also enables tight groins to gently relax and slowly open without straining them.
- If you have any knee sensitivity, place a block underneath your knees to reduce it. To take this pose to the next level, bring your awareness to your external rotators (in the bum) to further open the inner thighs.
- For another variation to take this pose to the next level, lean forward from your hips. Bend your elbows and place them on your inner calves or thighs — anywhere but the knee. Rest your head on the mat beyond your feet and breath into the intensity. Remember to back off the moment it is no longer nourishing. Every day is different, so if today you can’t quite rest your head on the mat, use a block to support it. Honor where you are right now.
- To use this pose in a Yin yoga style, slide your feet a foot or so away from your pelvis to create a lovely diamond shape between your legs. Place a block under each knee, and a bolster on top of the legs. Slowly hinge forward from the hips and round over the bolster/feet. Hold for 3-5 minutes.
- Lay off this pose if you have a major knee injury or recently pulled your groin. While it is a basic posture, if you recently injured yourself or you have a chronic pain, try a hip opener that doesn’t put as much pressure on the affected area.
- This pose fits almost anywhere in a yoga practice. You can use it as a warm up or warm down, or a transition from the standing series to the floor series. Open up to your creativity and just do what feels good.
- You could try transitioning into it from Paschimottanasana, Upavistha Konasana, or Malasana.
- Follow it up with any of the above, or a seated twist, Happy Baby, or reclined poses.
Let us know what you think of this lovely, welcoming and non-discriminating hip opener!