Pronunciation: BAH-dah cone-AHS-anna
Pose Type: Seated
The Cobbler Pose, or Baddha Konasana, is a seated pose also known as ‘butterfly’ pose. It is a simple pose that has a list of diverse benefits, but it is also difficult for beginners. Beginners with tight hips or upper leg muscles should grab a block, a towel or folded blanket and place it under their sitz bones for added support. It is important to be sure the lower back is comfortable and avoid fast movements in this pose as it is a slow stretch using the breath to allow the body to fully release into the fullest expression of the pose. Distributing the weight equally on the sitz bones is also important to ensure the the pelvic area doesn’t cause a twist in the lower spine.
This pose is often part of the seated stretches at the start or end of a yoga practice, but it can also be practiced independently. It is recommended for yogis experiencing fatigue, menstrual cramping, or sciatica pain. It is not recommended soon after giving birth when the pelvic muscles need time to regain their strength.
Preparatory poses for Cobbler Pose are Hero Pose (Virasana) and Tree Pose (Vrkasana), both of which increase flexibility in the knees and open the groin area. :
- Start by sitting on the floor with legs straight out before you. Yogis with tight hips can raise their pelvis by sitting on a blanket.
- Reach the soles of the feet together as close to the pelvis as comfortable, with hands holding the feet. (You can also use each hand to grip the ankles or shins if it is not possible to reach the feet.)
- Do not push down on the knees – let them rest where they are.
- Inhale deeply and reach the crown of the head toward the ceiling above.
- Exhale and slowly reach the head forward as your spine undulates forward over the legs.
- Maintain the length of your torso as far as you can do so without strain.
- Stay in the pose for several breaths, keeping the breath steady and deep.
When you’re ready to release, take and exhale and inhale rising up to sitting. As you practice this pose, you can almost taste the delicious lightness and freedom of childhood play.
Benefits of Cobbler Pose, or Baddha Konasana
The benefits of this pose include:
- Improved flexibility in the knees, inner thigh, and grown
- Abdominal stimulation to improve digestion
- Stimulates the heart muscles
- Opens the lower back and pelvic region
Regular practice of Baddha Konosana eases mood swings and alleviates depression, anxiety and feelings of fatigue. This pose is highly recommended before bedtime as it improves blood circulation and allows the body to relax and fall asleep.