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Benefits of Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction: 

Yoga originated from the Sanskrit word ‘yug’ which means to unite. Yoga connects mind and body in a well-integrated way to have an experience of self and improved health.2 Yoga come under practical science and from a young age, everyone can practice yoga under proper guidance. Yoga may help a person’s physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being.3 Butterfly pose is one of the popular asanas which may be helpful for women, especially in their pregnancy phase.1 The butterfly pose is one of the sitting postures in which the relaxation of the body occurs. Let us discuss the butterfly asana and its benefits. 

butterfly pose

What is Butterfly Pose? 

The Butterfly pose is also known as Baddha Konasana or Titli asana. This asana may lower tension in the back as well as gives relaxation to the body and mind. Additionally, it resembles a butterfly flapping its wings and is called a butterfly pose.1 

The various forms of butterfly pose are as follows: 

1. Reclined Bound Angle Pose:  

The bound angle pose is also called Supta Baddha Konasana and you may do the asana in a sleeping position as it is supine position pose. Supta Baddha Konasana may help stretch the chest portion and improve breathing.4 

2. Half butterfly pose:  

Half butterfly pose is also termed Ardha titli asana. In pregnancy, the half butterfly pose may be an excellent pose for expanding the hip joints, which might help in quick and simple delivery.5 Please consult the doctor to avoid further problems and do it under the guidance of a trainer. 

3. Full butterfly pose: 

The full butterfly pose is also termed Purna titli asana, which is the butterfly pose.5 Let us learn about the process of the full butterfly pose or the Butterfly pose.3 

Also Read: Benefits of Makarasana (Crocodile Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

How to do it? 

Full butterfly pose: 

  • First, take a seat by folding your legs inwards so the toes touch each other, and the heels touch the pelvis (the area between your hips and thighs) region. Lock your hands over the toes to hold them in place. You may place the hands below the feet for support.  
  • Try to bring the heels towards the genitals as closely as possible. The inner thighs, pelvis, and the area between the thighs specifically between the anus and the genital portion may all get stretched.  
  • Maintain a straight back which may help in strengthening the lower back area.3,6 
  • Then take a deep breath and breath it out. Bend the thighs and knees towards the floor. Then start to flap your thighs like a butterfly.  
  • The overall process should begin slowly and gradually increase the speed and stop. The breathing process should be constant throughout.3,6 
  • In this position, you may lean forward and bring your forehead close to your toes on the floor. 
  • Exhale while you bend toward the floor and the stretch that develops between the thighs and the pelvic region might be more effective.3,6 
  • After that you may come to a comfortable position slowly.3,6 

Doing butterfly poses can have some great health benefits. It can provide flexibility to the groin and hip. It also aids in bowel movement and can reduce fatigue while walking or standing. I will recommend practising the butterfly pose to women with menstrual problems and pregnant women aiming for a smooth delivery.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Do You Know? 

The flapping of legs looks like the wings of a butterfly, so this is known as the butterfly pose.1 Some great sayings about butterfly pose are fun to read and beneficial to practise.  

  • Someone said, “We tend to hold a lot of emotions in our pelvic area or core system”. Butterfly poses are a kind of hip opener exercise which might help in stretching the muscles around the pelvis area. This hip opener position may be ideal for releasing emotions. “The butterfly poses or titli asana may be quite beneficial in releasing stored emotions.” But practice under proper guidance and trainer.  

Also Read: Benefits of Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Benefits of Butterfly Pose: 

 The butterfly pose is a beginner-level yoga pose which may be helpful and some of the benefits of the butterfly pose are as follows: 

1. Benefits of Butterfly Pose for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome):  

PCOS is a disorder seen in women due to hormonal imbalances. Symptoms of PCOS are obesity, stress, anxiety, depression, and mood disorders. Yoga postures like butterfly pose may help in treating these symptoms by enhancing relaxation, boosting feelings, and promoting a positive outlook on life.6 But you should visit a doctor and seek therapy for this problem instead of only depending on yoga asana. 

2. Benefits of Butterfly Position for Pregnancy: 

The butterfly asana may provide stretch and strength to your inner thighs, pelvic area, and knees. This asana may psychologically be helpful for pregnant women, and it may be helpful for the proper ovaries’ health.  In the last days of pregnancy, the butterfly poses may help pregnant women, as this pose may not exert pressure on the abdominal wall.1,4,5 However, you should consult the physician as it might cause serious issues and do it under the guidance of your trainer. 

3. Benefits of Butterfly Pose for Migraine:  

In a study, it was seen that butterfly asana might help against migraine. It may regulate hormonal imbalance by acting on the organ (hypothalamus), which balances it. Therefore, by improving these functions, it may be helpful against migraine.7 You must visit a doctor to avoid any problems. Do not self-medicate or practice all the poses under the proper guidance.  

4. Benefits of Butterfly Pose for CPP (chronic pelvic pain):  

Butterfly poses and other yoga poses may relieve chronic pelvic pain (a complex condition in which you may feel pain below your chest and above your hips).  Also, it might reduce pelvic floor dysfunction and may encourage mindfulness, deep breathing, and relaxation. These properties of the butterfly pose may help in lowering the CPP.8 You must consult the doctor for better results and avoid serious effects.  

5. Benefits of Butterfly Pose After Prostate Cancer Surgery: 

Butterfly poses asana focuses majorly on the pelvic floor. In research, butterfly pose asana may have a positive impact on the patients who practised this asana after prostate surgery (radical prostatectomy). It may also help in recovering from urine incontinence (losing control while urinating).9 9 Kindly confirm with a doctor if it is safe for you to perform this asana after prostate surgery. Moreover, you should perform it only under the guidance of a trained yoga teacher. 

6. Other benefits of butterfly pose: 

  • It may increase the flexibility of the spine.5 
  • It may help to tone the lower body.5 
  • It may relieve physical and mental stress.5  
  • It may improve digestion and relieves constipation.1 
  • It may relieve tiredness.2 
  • It may lower the pain in the legs and knees.2 
  • It may improve reproductive function.2 
  • It might be helpful against high blood pressure.1 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.  

Also Read: Benefits of Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Butterfly poses have multiple health benefits. However, I will suggest that people with knee or groin injuries should avoid doing this yoga position without proper support. Also, people with sciatica should take proper support or completely avoid it.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Risks of Exercise 

  • Try to avoid butterfly pose in case you have severe sciatica.  
  • If you have a knee injury and arthritis, try to avoid this asana.  
  • You may avoid this asana if you feel pain in the body.  
  • Pregnant women may avoid this asana if they feel pain anywhere in their body. 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher/yoga expert, we can access and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice exercise with precautions. Perform this asana under proper guidance. 

Conclusion  

Baddha konasana also known as the “butterfly position,” is characterised by the up-and-down movement of both legs.1 Butterfly pose is the yoga position in which lower and upper back portions of the body may get stretched. The butterfly pose may help open hip joint muscles and tone the lower part of the body. You may avoid this asana if you feel pain in the body while practising it. Kindly consult the doctor. Butterfly pose may have several benefits, such as in CPP, PCOS, pregnancy and migraine.1-9 Perform this asana under proper guidance. 

Also Read: Benefits of Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does the butterfly pose have any effect on diabetes? 

No; however, further study is needed to determine whether the butterfly pose affects diabetes. 

Does butterfly pose effective in improving metabolism? 

Yoga, such as the butterfly pose, may boost blood flow, haemoglobin levels, and red blood cell counts, allowing more oxygen to reach body cells, increasing their function, and lowering stress levels which may help to improve metabolism.6 Perform this asana under proper guidance. 

Is baddha konasana safe during the later stages of pregnancy?  

The butterfly pose may help in the later stages of pregnancy as it might help reduce muscle cramps and stretch the body’s pelvic portion.5 Before performing baddha konasana, please consult your doctor and only perform under your doctor’s or fitness professional’s supervision. 

Does the butterfly pose have any benefit on fertility? 

The common reason for infertility in women is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) which a butterfly pose may lower. Butterfly poses may reduce the discomfort associated with menstruation. So, the butterfly pose may be helpful for women’s fertility. But more study is necessary for men.6 

What are the benefits of butterfly pose for weight loss? 

No, but an additional study on the butterfly position is needed. Please consult a physician. 

References: 

  1. Singh C, Reddy TO, Singh V. Benefit of Yoga Poses for Women during Pregnancy. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340731445_Benefit_of_Yoga_Poses_for_Women_during_Pregnancy 
  1. Morello T. The Yoga Beginner’s Bible: Top 63 Illustrated Poses for Weight Loss, Stress Relief and Inner Peace. 3rd ed. Pronoun; 2017. Available from: https://b-ok.asia/book/3623621/b43761 
  1. DrDr. Nagendra HR, Dr. Selvamurthy W, Prof. Dr. Patwardhan AR, Dr. Frawley D; Understanding the body anatomy through yogasanas: Yoga Vijnana – The Science and Art of Yoga. 2021, Oct-Mar; 1(2): 47-59. Available from: https://yoga.ayush.gov.in/Publications/gallery/JOURNAL/Yoga%20Vijnana%20Vol.%202.pdf 
  1. Sengupta PA. The bliss yoga inculcates during the different stages of pregnancy. Int J Pharm Pharm Sci. 2014;6(10):86-7. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/287896848_The_bliss_yoga_inculcates_during_the_different_stages_of_pregnancy 
  1. Thakur J. Yoga in pregnancy: A boon to motherhood. Journal of Ayurveda and Holistic Medicine (JAHM). 2016 Jan 12;3(6):121-9. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323377173_YOGA_IN_PREGNANCY_A_BOON_TO_MOTHERHOOD 
  1. Bijendar Singh, Badola J, Laxmi V. The Positive effects of Asanas and Pranayama on PCOS and How to deal with hormonal imbalance. Science and Technology. 2021;7(0707029):190-5. Available at: http://www.ijmtst.com/volume7/issue07/31.IJMTST0707029.pdf 
  1. Mehta, J. N., Parikh, S., Desai, S. D., Solanki, R. C., & Pathak, A. G. (2021). Study of Additive Effect of Yoga and Physical Therapies to Standard Pharmacologic Treatment in Migraine. Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, 12(1), 60. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1055/S-0040-1718842  
  1. Huang AJ, Rowen TS, Abercrombie P, Subak LL, Schembri M, Plaut T, Chao MT. Development and feasibility of a group-based therapeutic yoga program for women with chronic pelvic pain. Pain Medicine. 2017 Oct 1;18(10):1864-72. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/painmedicine/article/18/10/1864/3737820 
  1. Nair DC, Laddha A, Thomas A, Ravindran GC, Pooleri GK. Integration of yoga in the management of patients undergoing surgery for Prostate Cancer: A pilot study. Amrita Journal of Medicine. 2020 Jan 1;16(1):6. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/342738707_Integration_of_yoga_in_the_management_of_patients_undergoing_surgery_for_prostate_cancer_A_pilot_study 

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