The Peaceful Butterfly Pose – Adho Mukha Baddhakonasana
This pose keeps the kidneys, the prostrate and the urinary bladder healthy, as it flushes fresh blood into the pelvis, abdomen and lower back. This pose is especially beneficial for women. It checks irregular menstrual cycles and helps the ovaries to function properly, as well as aiding varicose veins. The upright variation of this pose can be used for meditation, with the hands either on the knees or in prayer position at the heart centre.
Begin by sitting on your heels in vajrasana. Take a folded blanket and come to sitting on it with the soles of your feet together and your knees apart. Check that your blanket is straight.
Move your buttock flesh out of the way so that you can feel your ischium bones. Hold your feet with your hands. Feel your body weight divided evenly between your ischium bones.
Elongate your spinal column, waist and crown of your head upwards on each inhalation.
Feel your ischium bones and the outer edges of your feet grounding down on each exhalation.
Draw your outer calf muscles into your shin bones, lengthen your inner thighs from your inner groins to your inner knees and lower your knees toward the floor.
Connect to your breath. Inhale for four and exhale for four; with long, smooth and even breaths.
Inhale and on your next exhalation begin to lengthen forward from your pelvis by moving your ischium bones back behind you.
Place your elbows onto your thighs, encouraging them to move down toward the floor.
Come forward until you feel you can go no further, and then hold and wait.
Connect to your breath, breathing and waiting for the hips to open a little more.
As soon as you begin to feel the stretch diminish, lengthen further forward.
Eventually your sternum will rest on your feet.
Move your lumbar spine in. Elongate your vertebrae and the sides of your neck, and bring your forehead to rest on the floor.
Extend your buttock bones backward and outward, so that your buttock flesh is moving back and spreading sideways.
Move both sides of your pubic bone down and the bottom half of your lower sacrum backwards.
Keep sliding your scapula down your spine, towards your sacrum.
On each exhalation feel your hips opening more and your head and chest surrendering deeper towards the Earth.
On an inhalation, slowly and quietly come back to sitting upright.
Connect to your breath here for a moment, feeling the openness in your hips.
Inhaling and exhaling.
Release your hands and straighten your legs one by one, to come to sitting back in dandasana, with your hands by your hips.