Guest Author - Tracy Webb
The Butterfly asana is a wonderful and very simple yoga asana. With persistent practice, it opens the hips and groin, which is excellent in assisting with sitting cross-legged for meditation.
When sitting for meditation it is crucial to feel as comfortable as possible. The mind distracts us enough without discomfort also playing a part in distracting us from achieving a calm and quiet mind. The more you practice The Butterfly, the more its importance becomes apparent.
The Butterfly is simple and easy to do and it is recommended that you practice between one and five minutes at a time. The following steps shows you how to practice The Butterfly for maximum benefits.
How to do The Butterfly:
- Sit on the floor keeping your back straight.
- Bend the legs at the knees bringing the soles of the feet together.
- Wrap your hands around the feet or ankles and pull them towards the groin.
- Pull out from the hips, and push the knees towards the floor.
- Use the elbows to ease the knees towards the floor.
- Once you can feel a stretch in the hips start to pulse the knees up and down, like wings flapping.
- You will eventually get the knees closer to the floor and open the hips to sit in Sukhasana with ease.
The Butterfly can be performed in conjunction with the Breath Of Fire to enhance the posture and maximise the benefits, including increased cardiovascular capacity and improved clarity of mind.
If you practice The Butterfly asana daily it won’t be long until your body starts to yield to the posture and you are able to sit crossed legged and your knees touching the floor for long periods of time.
Most people report starting out being unable to get their knees anywhere near the floor and had to rely on cushions for support. Without much effort and regular practice, it does not take long until your body becomes more flexible and supple making it easy and natural to sit without pain for meditation.
Many yoga asana and pranayama depend on the ability to sit on floor for prolonged periods in Sukhasana, especially Kundalini Yoga sequences. By adding this valuable asana to your daily practice, you will enhance the benefits of each posture, increase flexibility and begin to withdraw your attention from the discomfort that you used to feel when sitting on the floor.
I hope you enjoy adding this simple yet highly beneficial to your practice and soon reap the rewards of your commitment.