Cobbler’s pose (Baddha Konasana) a.k.a. Butterfly or Bound Angle pose, is one of the most relaxing hip opening poses. It is performed while sitting and is an excellent posture to be practiced during pregnancy, as it prepares the groin and uterus for childbirth.
The pose energizes body and mind, while stretching and toning inner thighs. Its reclined version, Supta Baddha Konasana or the Goddess pose is equally restorative and apt for this purpose.
While sitting in this pose, you stretch the shoulders, lower back, groin and inner thighs. It improves your seated posture and is extremely helpful for women in menstruation, relieving symptoms of menopause, and ease childbirth. The pose stimulates and strengthens abdominal organs like heart, kidneys, liver, uterus and ovaries, prostate, bladder, etc.
Additionally, cobbler’s pose is also therapeutically useful in sciatica and improving mental focus. It is a wonderful pose to get into while experiencing anxiety, fatigue, mood swings, or mild depression.
Getting into pose
What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.
Difficulty Level: Beginner
Initial Position: Staff position (Dandasana)
Drishti or Gaze: While performing this pose, concentrate your gaze inwards (third eye/between the eyebrows)
- Get into the initial position and take a deep breath.
- As you exhale, bend forward to hold your feet with your hands and pull them towards yourself. Your knees would be bent on either sides and your soles touching each other.
- Keep pulling your feet in till you feel a mild stretch in the inner thighs. Keep arms stretched and palms cupping the feet.
- For multiple benefits, stretch your neck upwards and practice abdominal breathing. Do not curve your back. Hold position for 5-7 breaths.
- Slowly, go back into the starting position. Breathe normally. Do it twice in a practice along with other poses.
If you feel exerted, rest in Child’s pose.
- Iyengar Yoga Variation: (Cobbler’s pose with strap) If you feel very stiff and find it difficult to even touch your soles, use a soft belt or scarf to tie your feet together and stay in the pose for longer.
- Reclined Variation: (Goddess pose) Once you master the above pose, you can go for its reclined variation. This is performed in two ways: Either get into Cobbler’s pose and bend backwards to lie down on mat, or lie down first and then, bend your knees. Do it in a way which feels more comfortable, as it is supposed to be a restorative pose. This variation can also be performed with a belt wrapped around feet and thighs.
- Forward Reclined Variation: To garner extreme hip opening benefits, bend forward while in full cobbler’s pose to touch the mat with forehead. Inhale while bending forward and exhale while reverting. Breath normally or hold breath in between, as comfortable. (Avoid this variation during pregnancy)
If you find it difficult getting into the pose, try its Iyengar variation. Or, use soft blocks or towel pile to rest your knees on either sides. Do not overexert.
- Hero Pose (Virasana)
- Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
- Standing Forward Bend Pose (Uttanasana)
- Those with knee problems should not perform it.
- The pose is helpful in easing menstruation pain but should be avoided during those days.
- Since it is a Prenatal Yoga pose, pregnant women can do it all through nine months, but always perform under expert supervision.
Further reading: How I Made My Pregnancy Easy, Trimester-wise
Last Updated: July 2nd, 2014
Next Scheduled Update: Sept 2nd, 2014