Relax Your Mind (& Your Hips) With Reclining Butterfly Pose
There's a time and place for intense yoga poses, and there's also a time and place for more relaxing ones. Whether your hips feel like they need a good stretch, or you just want to unwind and de-stress, reclining butterfly is one of those relaxing poses to consider. Here's how to do it, as demonstrated by yoga instructor Emily Chen, plus tips, modifications, and benefits.
How to do Reclining Butterfly pose:
- Come into a seated position on your mat, bring the soles of your feet together, and allow your knees to fall to either side.
- Place a yoga block under your lower back and your head, and allow your body to lower down.
- Let your arms relax overhead, and hold this position for as long as you need.
Tips & modifications:
- If your knees aren't quite resting comfortably, you can use a block underneath each for extra support.
- Kick this stretch up a notch by incorporating a strap; From a seated butterfly stretch, loop a yoga strap into a large circle. The strap will circle around your low back, and your feet in front. The strap should look like it's laying across your ankles and hip joints. From there, slowly lower down.
- Be mindful here if you have any knee or hip problems, always using props when needed.
What are the benefits?
Along with simply being a super relaxing posture, reclining butterfly is great for working on hip mobility. It requires a good deal of hip opening, but even if you're struggling with hip flexibility, the use of props can help you better relax into this pose.
The extended hold of this posture is sure to help you release any tension you're storing in the hips and groin, which can then relieve the low back. And thanks to the block under your back, you can also get a nice, gentle backbend here, which will open up the front side of the torso, and particularly your chest.
On top of that, if you're at all into chakras, this posture is a good one for both the root chakra (located at the base of the spine), and the heart chakra.
The bottom line is, sometimes we need a solid stretch sesh, whether we're cooling down after a workout, about to go to bed, or just need a moment of calm to turn inward. In any case, reclining butterfly is a pose you (and your hips) won't want to miss.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.