Spring is such a roller coaster. One minute it is a beautiful, 60 degree, sunny afternoon and everyone is outside smiling and skipping along and the next it is cold, snowing, windy with people bundled up wondering what they did to deserve this.
In Stockholm this weekend we saw snow, rain, wind, you name it. I even got out my snow boots again - ugh. With the finicky nature of Spring in mind, today's asana is all about the Yin posture Butterfly. The legs in this pose mirror the wing´s of a butterfly (a sure sign of warmer weather) but also is a forward bend and therefore comforting and inward.
Butterfly is a great way to stretch the lower back and the inner thighs. This asana allows even those of us with tight hamstrings to get that delicious lower back stretch that may allude us in other forward folds. If your feet are closer into to the groin, then the inside of the thighs will get more of a stretch but if the feet are further away, the outside of the thighs will feel more of a stretch. It is nice to sit on a folded blanket during Butterfly so that the hips are elevated and the pelvic bowl is tilting forward - plus the extra cushion is nice on the bum:). Once the soles of the feet are together, adjust the distance between the feet and your body and then round the back and lean forward. I like to rest my hands on my feet or on the floor in front of me. If you are holding the pose for a few minutes (and you should!) then it might be nice for the neck to have a bolster propped up on the inside of the heels for your forehead to rest onto. Butterfly, a Yin pose, looks similar to its Yang counterpart Baddha Konasana except for a few key alignment points. Unlike Baddha Konasana, do not think about keeping a flat back and straight spine as you bend forward but rather allow gravity to do its job and maintain the natural curve in the spine. Also, do not feel the need to bring the feet as close into the groin as possible - let the feet slide out creating a nice diamond shape with the legs. Find your edge in the pose and stay there. Breathe and pray for warmer weather. Hold the pose for 3-5 minutes.