Yoga can be extremely beneficial for everyone — more so for men.
Yoga, when practiced on a regular basis whether by attending classes or doing it as a pre-work out exercise can increase endurance, build strength, prevent injuries, and may even cut the risk of heart diseases.
Men routinely suffer from tightness, particularly in the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders that can lead to injury or weakness.
“Over-training in any one sport can cause repetitive stress and other more serious injuries. Yoga is a full-body workout that creates both strength and flexibility. You need to have both. One without the other is a recipe for disaster.”
Don’t know where to start with your brand new commitment to yoga?
Practising the butterfly pose or Baddhasana can benefit men because it stretches and relaxes parts like shoulders, hips and groin that tend to remain stiff due to insufficient exercise. This pose also strengthens muscles that remain ignored in routine exercises such as the knees and back.
It also increases flexibility and balance, stiff joints and stretch out muscles, which can relieve pain and is essential for long-term health benefits.
This exercise also extends the range of motion. Men have certain muscles that are the main targets to be worked on in gym exercised exercises such as hamstrings, glutes, abdomen, and shoulders.
What Is Baddha Konasana?
You might have heard this yoga, referred to as Bound Angle Pose or Butterfly Pose. Apart from stretching the inner thighs and back, it works to stimulate the prostate gland along with the bladder, the kidneys, and the organs in the abdomen.
Butterfly pose, an integral part of yoga, isn’t just beneficial to relax the muscles post a heavy workout but has multiple other benefits for complete fitness.
Yoga, an ancient Indian practice that brings together the body, mind, and spirit towards a state of wellness, has helped its disciples to improve and maintain the health of their muscles, joints, and is also considered great for flexibility, strength, and mental well being.
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How To Do Baddha Konasana?
Sit on a mat or a well-cushioned seat with your back straight. Start by straightening your spine with your legs stretched out.
Now, bend both your knees to form a winged butterfly position. Then, bring your feet towards your pelvis area, as close as you can, and join them together, clasping your hands.
Slowly breathe in and out, pressing your thighs and knees downward against the mat. Begin flapping both the legs up and down, like the wings of a butterfly.
Remember to keep your spine straightened while performing the pose and stretch your legs out to come back to the starting point.
Aim to stay in this pose for 20 to 30 seconds. After a few deep breaths, release from this pose. Repeat a few more times for as long as it feels good to you.
Hand placement options:
- Interlace fingers under your pinky toes.
- Hold onto your toes with your thumb, middle and index fingers.
- Place your hands on your ankles or shins.
Benefits of Baddha Konasana or butterfly pose:
This pose offers a mixed bunch of benefits like improving flexibility and reducing back pain, Here us a complete list of benefits to be reaped from this pose:
1. Reduces back pain
This pose helps people deal with back pain issues, as it stretches and engages the lower back muscles without adding extra pressure on the hamstrings.
Since, this pose requires placement of the heels close to the pelvis area, the lower back gets adequately lengthened and the back muscles are relieved of stress and pressure.
2. Lowers stress levels and eases headaches
Butterfly Pose / Baddha Konasana releases tension from the neck, back and head and this helps reduce the severity of headaches as oxygen reaches the brain more easily.
Doing deep breathing while performing the asana helps to release anxiety and achieve a state of tranquillity.
3. Strengthens inner thigh area
This pose requires your legs to be placed close to the inner thigh area, the muscles, joints, and connective tissues for better engagement and strengthening as a result of prolonged holding of this posture.
4. Improves reproductive health
The butterfly pose improves the functioning of male fertility by reducing stress and anxiety, regulating hormones, improving mood, and increasing circulation. So, basically it helps with overall health.
According to studies practicing yoga is also proven to be excellent for prostate health, that helps ward off prostate disorders.
More benefits :
The butterfly stretch targets the glutes along with the groin, inner thighs, and knees. Relaxing these areas of the body along with back muscles can help to improve posture.
If you feel stiffness around your thighs, back and pelvis area, it may be time to get on the floor and start working on stiff muscles to let your body move freely and relax, at the same time.
Tips for increased flexibility:
Here are a few pointers to ease the procedure of butterfly stretch:
- It’s important to slowly open the thighs and glutes, especially if they’re extremely stiff. Remember to be gentle and aim to improve overall flexibility.
- Use slow, steady movements and avoid bouncing or pushing yourself beyond your body limits.
- Ensure your weight is balanced evenly between your hips, pelvis, and and bones. Adjust your body alignment if you ever feel like loosing balance.
- If your knees are positioned quite high, place a cushion or blocks right under your thighs or knees for added support. Allow your thighs to relax and your knees to naturally lower without pressing or forcing them down.
- Use caution if you have a knee injury. For support under your outer thighs and knees, follow the above suggestions.
- Sit with support, especially if you have stiffness. Use a combination of blocks, cushions, or get hold of a comfy mat. Sit on your choice of yoga seat, allowing your pelvis to tilt forward so you can deepen the stretch.
- Focus on taking slow, long, and deep inhalations and exhalations. This will help you to move more deeply into the stretch.
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Modifications and variations:
There are several modifications and variations of the butterfly stretch that may help to make the pose more comfortable and manageable.
Remember, the shape of your body can affect your flexibility and range of motion. Do each variation depending on your comfort and fitness.
Here are a few options:
- Lean against a wall with your spine straight and your back against a wall.
- Twist to the left. While doing this place your left hand behind your back and right hand against the outside of your left thigh. Or twist to the other direction.
- Hinge at the hips and do a forward bend by hinging at your hips to tilt forward. Place your hands on the floor or a block. Alternatively, you can place your arms over your legs and your hands over your feet while pressing your elbows against your inner thighs or calves.
- Invert your seat. Stretch with your legs leaning against the wall, as if you’re “sitting” on the wall.
- Add shoulder stretches. Ease stiffness in your shoulders by doing simple exercises such as shoulder rolls, shoulder shrugs, cross arm stretch, or Cow Face Pose. You can also cross one arm on top of the other, attempting to grasp the opposite shoulders, or place your palms together behind your back in Reverse Prayer Pose.
- Lie on your back. Reclined butterfly pose can be a useful variation here You can place a cushion or block under your upper back to open up your chest.
Other Back stretches and poses:
If the butterfly stretch isn’t for you, or, if you simply want a few complementary stretches, some alternatives can similarly stretch the same areas of your body.
- Tree Pose
- Lunge variations
- Supine, standing, and seated figure 4 stretch
- Warrior II pose
- Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Baddha Konasana is a useful Yoga exercise that can go a long way in improving strength and vitality of muscles that get little or no exercise.
Daily practice of Butterfly pose is set to offer a hoard of health benefits for men to achieve all their fitness goals and get rid of problems like stiffness and poor posture.
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