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My favourite Butterfly Pose adjustments for Yin Yoga

Do you love Butterfly pose in Yin Yoga?

Me too!

It has such an amazing capacity to target some or all of the following:

the inner legs (adductor group),

the outer hips (glutes),

the lower back (Thoracolumbar fascia),

the spine

and the tissues surrounding the spine.

How this pose targets your body will depends on a few things;

namely, your own unique structure (bones, tissue pliability, and variation),

and how you choose to prop or adjust the pose.

There are lots of different ways to add props to Butterfly,

here are some of my favourite ways to tweak and explore the shape:

Adjusting the feet closer or further away from the body

This one is so simple, and yet can make a huge difference to the way this shape feels for your body. There is no right or wrong placement of the feet in relation to your body.

What happens to the feeling in the target areas when you pull the feet in really close, or move them gradually away from you?

You might find that somewhere along this trajectory your knees feel the best, or you are able to get a little bit more room for your torso to melt down in the direction of the floor.

Elevating the head with props

Because the tissue at the back of the neck can be really tight in many people, a lot of my students remark that the first sensations in Butterfly pose with the head hanging down are too strong. Elevating the head on to a block, or even resting your forehead or chin in your hands can be a more easeful way to enter this pose.

At some point you might decide to let the head hang, or it might feel better for you to keep the head supported.

A bolster hug

Who doesn't love a yin yoga bolster hug?

When it just feels too much to hang down, pulling a bolster in (vertically) to drape your arms around and snuggle your head into can be so incredibly supportive (and a great option during pregnancy).

Elevating the feet

This one is for when you want to take the pose up a notch.

Only try this out if you legitimately don't feel much in your outer hips (probably because you have so much natural external rotation in your femur joins), an you would like to try to feel something.

Note * Do not force your knees here!

Place 2 x blocks on the low profile under each outer foot blade to raise them up off the floor.

Let me walk you through each of these adjustments in the video below.


Love Karina x



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