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Badha = Bound or Restrained, Kona = Angle, Asana = Pose or Posture

This pose is pronounced as BAH-dah-cone-AHS-ana. The Sanskrit word “baddha” means a bond, chain, caught or restrained. The word pada means foot, and kona means corner or angle therefore this is the restrained-foot-angle posture. 

The posture is named “Badhakonasana” because of the way it is carried out – both the feet tucked close to the groin, clasped tightly with the hands as though tied or bound together in a particular angle. It is also popularly known as the Butterfly Pose because of the movement of the legs during the posture, giving the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings. The posture is also sometimes known as the Cobbler Pose as it resembles the sitting position of a cobbler at work.

How to do Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)

1. Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended straight out in front. Keep the  back straight, shoulders level and head straight. Place the hands, palms down, flat on  top of the thighs then inhale deeply.  

2. Exhale and bend the knees drawing the feet toward the torso.  

3. Place the soles of the feet together, clasp the hands over the feet interlocking the  fingers pulling the feet closer and placing the heels against the perineum. The outer  edge and small toe of each foot should touch the floor.  

4. Lower the knees to the floor and keep the back straight. Use the elbows to press down  on the thighs if necessary to bring the calves and knees to the floor. Hold the posture  breathing gently through the nostrils.  

5. Release the posture and sit with the legs extended out and hands on the thighs. 

Hold the posture from thirty seconds to two minutes depending on comfort. Repeat two or three times.  

Benefits of the Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)

  • Regular practice of the baddhakona-asana stretches the knees and stimulates circulation in the legs
  • Helps in intestine and bowel movement
  • Removes fatigue from long hours of standing and walking
  • Offers relief from menstrual discomfort and menopause symptoms
  • Helps in smooth delivery if practiced regularly until late pregnancy

Contraindications of the Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)

If you are suffering from groin or knee injury, make sure you keep a blanket under the outer thighs for support. Do not perform this pose without blanket support. Also, sciatica patients should either completely avoid the pose or sit on a cushion to raise the hips. If you have any lower-back disorders, do the posture only while keeping the spine erect. Avoid rounding up the spine by bending forward.

All Yoga Poses
Previous yoga pose: Ardha Matsyendrasana
Next yoga pose: Padmasana