Bound angle pose (also called Butterfly Pose) is an excellent yoga pose to improve flexibility in the groin and thighs. It’s an easy beginner pose that’s safe for most yogis and pregnant women to perform without the need for a professional yoga instructor. Just keep your back straight and you’ll master this one before you know it.
Here’s how to perform the pose…
How to Perform Bound Angle Pose – Step-by-Step
Step 1: Begin seated on your yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Now bring both of your feet together and in as close to your body as possible. The bottoms of your feet should be together almost like they’re clapping.
Step 2: Interlace your fingertips and wrap them around the top of your feet (your toes) with your elbows pointed out toward your knees.
Step 3: Round your back and bring your chin down into your chest. You should feel a stretch in your upper back.
Step 4: Now as you’ve established your foundation, begin to straighten up and “grow tall” bringing your elbows back in, straightening your back, and lifting your head. You’re now in Bound Angle Pose (also called “Butterfly pose”).
Step 5: Rather than pressing your knees down toward the floor focus on rotating your thighs back and down. This reduces stress on your knees and helps to prevent injuries.
Step 6: Relax into the pose with 5-10 deep breaths in and out.
To exit the pose, simply release the tension and allow your spine to round again. Draw your head into your chest, tuck your navel in, and relax yourself down toward the floor. Then bring yourself up by coming back to the straight back position, drawing your shoulders back, and come back to a seated position. Release your feet from each other and gently extend your legs back out.
Modifications to Bound Angle Pose
You may want to use a yoga bolster or a blanket placed under your site bones to elevate your hips. This makes the pose a little easier and more comfortable, especially if you’re relatively new to yoga. It also relieves tension on your knees and helps you keep your back straight.
The Bound Angle Pose works for any part of your yoga routine. It’s an excellent warm-up pose, works equally well in between poses when you need a break, and it’s a good one to implement before bed.
- Never press down on your knees. This puts unnecessary pressure on them and may cause injury. Instead, focus on rotating your thighs back and down toward the floor.
- Avoid fluttering your knees. Instead, keep them strong and use the muscles of your thighs combined with gravity to increase your flexibility.
- Keep your movements deliberate and steady. Prop your sit bones up as much as needed to keep your spine straight and hips neutral.
- When folding forward, draw your chest toward your feet in order to keep your spine and neck long.
Deepening The Pose
If you feel like you’re ready for a deeper stretch you can increase the difficulty.
To deepen the stretch, grab your big toes or wrap your hands around your feet and pull yourself down toward the floor. Make sure that you keep your head up and back perfectly straight so that your groin muscles are the ones stretching.
Benefits of Bound Angle Pose
Many of us work from desks for most of the day. This results in tight hip flexors and tightness in the muscles of the groin in general. The Bound Angle Pose is excellent at releasing tension in the hip flexors, back, groin, ankles, and feet. This is an excellent pose for pregnant women to safely perform as well.
- Bound Angle stimulates blood flow to the groin.
- May stimulate organs in the abdomen.
- Improved groin flexibility.
- Stretches the muscles of the thighs.
- May help with symptoms of menopause.
- May help ease childbirth if performed by pregnant women.
If you have a knee injury then it’s best to avoid this one. It can put pressure on your knees which may aggravate injuries and cause pain. If you really want to try the pose, place yoga blocks underneath each of your knees so they’re supported. Never press your knees down during the pose (this goes for those without knee injuries as well).
Related Yoga Poses
- Child’s Pose
- Corpse Pose
- Seated Forward Bend
- Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
- Bridge Pose
- Legs Up The Wall Pose
Sanskrit Name: Baddha Konasana