Butterfly Pose to Ease Holiday Stress
Open those hips and surrender this holiday season!
As we inch closer and closer to the holidays I find my yoga home practice devoted to more and more stress relieving postures. My go-to daily pose is Baddha Konasana, also known as butterfly/bound angle pose. (You may also here it referred to as “cobbler’s pose.”
Most of us hold a lot of gunk in our hips. Old emotions and stress LOVE to go straight to the hips. (Then again, so do brownies, come to think of it… Sorry, bad joke!) But let’s just say the hips can be a powerhouse of stress. Factor in cold weather (colder temperatures always makes things a little creakier and tighter than normal) and you’ve got hips that need some release this season!
Baddha Konasana is a great hip-opener that is accessible in some variation by almost everyone.
Here’s how to do it:
1) Come to a seated position. Move the butt flesh out of the way. Yes, I mean that you need to literally reach down and move some of your butt back and out. This allows you to sit more forward and keep the spine long.
2) Bring the soles of the feet together.Drop the knees out to the side. The knees can be at a 90 degree angle or wider, depending on your flexibility. Feet can also be close to the pelvis if you have greater hip flexibility. The important thing is to find an angle that gives you a gentle stretch while still keeping your knees happy. If your knees are very far from the ground, you can prop a block under each knee or bring the feet further away from the body until the knees begin to drop closer ot the ground.
3) You can either press the feet firmly together (as shown below) or use your hands to open your feet wide like a book pressing only the outer edges of the feet firmly together. You can also grab around the ankles or shins if that is more comfortable for your body. Lengthen the spine!
4) Inhale as you reach the body long! You can stay in a seated position with the head extending towards the ceiling or, if it is comfortable on your body, you can begin to fold forward.
As you begin to fold forward, pause halfway to lengthen the spine:
5) Fold forward completely. Stay in the pose anywhere from one to five minutes.
6) Inhale with a flat back and slowly lift the spine back up. Place your hands under either thigh and, using your arm strength, bring your knees back together.
Take a deep breath! Enjoy the freedom in your hips! And then return to your regularly scheduled holiday programming. 😉