Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)


What is Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)?

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

Baddha Konasana or Bound Angle Pose is a beginner-level seated hip opener. This pose is usually practiced for warming up the pelvic area, deep hip opening asanas, or for meditation. 

This pose is also known as the Butterfly Pose because you spread your legs like the wings of a butterfly, and this action helps you open the deep pelvic tissues and targets your groin muscles for flexibility. 

Folding forward during this pose can also help alleviate lower back pain. Plus, this is an excellent pose to perform during pregnancy for natural birth. 

The term Baddha Konasana is a combination of Sanskrit words, "Baddha" meaning Bound, "Kon" meaning Angle, and "Asana" meaning Posture. 

This pose is mentioned in the traditional 15th-century Hatha Yoga texts - The Hatha Yoga Pradipika as a meditative posture Bhadrasana (Throne Pose). 

Sanskrit Name: बद्धकोणासन         Pronunciation: BAH-dah cone-AHS-ah-nah

Pose Type: Seated Hip Opener   Also known as: Bound Angle Pose or Butterfly Pose

Strengthens: Lower Back, Pelvis, Groin, and Abductors  

Stretches: Pelvis, Abductors, Hip Flexors, Lower Back, and Spine

Health Benefits of Baddha Konasana

  • Helps to relax the whole body. 

  • Improves digestion and kidney function.

  • Increases concentration and mindfulness. 

  • Improves blood circulation in the lower body. 

  • Opens the lower body for deep hip-opening asanas. 

  • Eases mild stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms. 

  • Calms the nervous system and enhances brain function. 

  • Reduces lower back pain and stiffness around the tailbone. 

  • Activates Muladhara, Manipura, and Swadisthana Chakras. 

  • Enhances hormonal balance and fights hormonal disorders. 

  • Opens the vaginal walls and helps pregnant women in labor.

  • Soothes the reproductive system and improves its functioning. 

When to Avoid Performing Baddha Konasana?

  • Avoid if you have kidney problems. 

  • Avoid if you have inflammatory arthritis.

  • Avoid bending down if you feel unable to breathe. 

  • Avoid if you’ve recently had knee, hip, or spine surgery. 

  • Avoid if you currently have severe body pain or an injury. 

  • Avoid during the initial pregnancy phase because it may lead to miscarriage.

How to do Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

The entire process of Baddha Konasana practice is detailed below in four different parts- Preparation, Steps, Alignment Tips, and Relax Asanas. 

Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Baddha Konasana

For the bound angle pose, you’ll need to activate your thighs, glutes, spine, and low back. 

Below are some static and dynamic warm-up movements that will help you increase blood circulation in both your pelvic and spinal muscles. 

1. Sukhasana (Ease Pose) - This asana is a crossed-legged sitting yoga asana, generally used for meditative practices. Start with the staff pose and bend your knees, interlocking your feet in a cross. 

Sukhasana (Ease Pose)

Try to align your sit bones into the ground with a firm foundation. Ensure your knees are close to the ground and your spine is upright. Hold this pose for 1 to 5 minutes, and focus on deep breathing with closed eyes. 

2. Hindolasana (Seated Leg Cradle Dynamic Movement) - This is a seated hip-opening yoga asana for beginners. From the staff pose, lift one leg close to your chest and hold it with your arms. 

Hindolasana (Seated Leg Cradle Dynamic Movement)

Now, gently move the lifted leg like you are cradling a baby in your arms. This will flex your glutes and open the deep pelvic muscles when done for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. 

3. Seated Windshield Wiper Dynamic Movement - If your inner thighs are stiff, you can activate them with this movement. Simply sit in a butterfly pose, lean back a bit, and keep your hands on the floor for stability during the movement. 

 Seated Windshield Wiper Dynamic Movement

Start by internally rotating one leg inwards, then rotate the same leg externally. Repeat the same on the other leg. You can do this for a couple of minutes until you feel your inner thighs and glutes getting warmed up. 

Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Baddha Konasana

The following are steps to practice the Bound Angle Pose: 

Step 1- Get seated in Dandasana, with your legs extended and your arms relaxed at your sides. Inhale and focus on firmly placing your sit bones on the yoga mat. 

Step 2- Bend your knees and bring your feet toward your sitting bones, placing your hands on your shins. If you feel pain, pressure, or discomfort in your knees, try not to touch the knees on the mat. 

Step 3- If you feel comfortable flexing your lower body, press the outer edges of your feet and your sitting bones into the mat.

Step 4-  Exhale and touch your knees to the ground and focus on your breathing for a few seconds here. 

Step 5- Inhale and exhale to bend from your waist and lean forward as you rest your forearms, chest, and head on the ground. 

Step 6- Hold this position for 3 to 5 full breaths and release the pose by getting back into Dandasana.

Breath Awareness: 

  • Inhale: When you sit in the pose and while holding your feet with your hands. 

  • Exhale: As you lower your knees close to the ground and while bending forward. 

Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold Baddha Konasana for 30 to 60 seconds.  

Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold Baddha Konasana for 1 to 5 minutes. 

Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind

Below are a few alignment tips to be mindful of while performing Bound Angle Pose:

  • Keep your spine upright: Keep your shoulders relaxed and your spine upright. If you feel that sitting in this pose adds strain to your spinal column, try practicing this pose with a wall behind your back. 

  • Focus on your breath: Practice staying in the meditative zone while performing Bound Angle Pose. To reap the mental health benefits from this pose, close your eyes and concentrate on every single inhale and exhale. If you find meditation challenging, try chanting some beej mantras for greater focus. 

  • Do not over-extend or rush to bend down: If you are pushing your knees close to the ground and your inner thighs hurt, you are negatively straining your muscles and this can cause muscle tear. 

Also, try not to rush while leaning forward. For beginners with a tight low back, this can cause a sprain. So it’s important to be mindful of your movements. 

Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Baddha Konasana

After a prolonged session of the Bound Angle Pose, your pelvic muscles will need to relax and return to normal shape. The following are some relaxing asanas to restore your pelvic area.  

1. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose):

From the Butterfly Pose, cross your knees together and stack them on top of each other. The formation of your legs will look like a cow's face. 

Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

Bring one arm behind your back from the shoulder, and the other arm from the side of your oblique. Now, try to reach for your fingers and interlock them together. Hold this pose for a minute on one side and then alter your arm and knee position. 

2. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): Sit straight in Staff Pose and inhale deeply with arms stretching out and resting on top of your head. 

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Inhale and exhale for a few breaths, and then exhale as you bend from your waist onto the legs. Keep the low back straight, arms flexed forward, and keep breathing while your head is resting. 

3. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose): Supta means reclining, and the lower half of your body will be positioned the same as in Bound Angle Pose. Gently lie down on the yoga mat and rest like you are in the corpse pose. 

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)

This pose will help relax any tension in your low back, tail bone, and sitting bones due to prolonged sitting in Butterfly Pose. 

Baddha Konasana Modifications and Props

If your legs are unable to open up and you feel the tension in your lower body, try these modifications to the Bound Angle Pose to help improve your practice: 

  • Seated Butterfly Pose with dynamic movement: 

Sit upright in Butterfly Pose, lock your feet with your hands, and flap your knees like a butterfly is flapping her wings. 

Seated Butterfly Pose with dynamic movement

Keep performing this dynamic movement for 1 to 5 minutes, and you will feel a rush of blood in your whole pelvic region. With regular practice, this modification will eventually enable you to open up your hips and abductors for a deeper flexion. 

  • Add yoga blocks: Sit in Bound Angle Pose with your knees supported by yoga blocks. Keep your back straight, close your eyes, and try to hold your legs in this modification for as long as you feel comfortable. 

Add yoga blocks

This modification can help beginners retain their Seated Bound Angle holds for longer durations without experiencing pain in the knees and inner thighs. 

  • Half Butterfly Pose: If bending forward feels painful with both your legs, try this modification. Sit in Staff Pose and bend one knee into the Half-Butterfly Pose. Stretch out your straight leg either in front or slightly onto one side. 

Half Butterfly Pose

Now, gently bend forward. You will only feel one side of your pelvic region flexed. Hold the pose on one side for some time and then repeat the same on the other side.

Baddha Konasana Variations to Consider

The following posture variations are for beginner and intermediate yogis to challenge themselves in their Bound Angle Pose: 

1. Baddha Konasana Semi Forward Bend: Start in a seated butterfly pose and grip the mat with your pelvic sitting bones. Hold both the feet together and close your eyes with a deep inhale. 

 Baddha Konasana Semi Forward Bend

Consciously breathe in this position for a few seconds, then start leaning forward onto the floor with an elongated exhale. Do not lean down completely. First, keep your elbows on your shins and explore how your low back feels. Keep breathing and hold this pose here for a few minutes. 

2. Baddha Konasana Full Forward Bend: Continue to understand how your inner thighs and low back are feeling. If it hurts, try not to over-extend your legs in this variation. 

Baddha Konasana Full Forward Bend

If you feel confident and are ready to extend then, stretch your arms in front, exhale deeply, and rest your head on the mat. Close your eyes, keep breathing, and feel the intense stretch of your whole lower body. Hold this pose for a few minutes and relax the pelvic area completely. 

Learn Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) with Expert Indian Yoga Teachers – FREE!
Sign up for a free trial with MyYogaTeacher and get 14-days of unlimited live yoga classes online plus 2 complimentary private yoga sessions to help you get started!
Level-Up Poses After Baddha Konasana for Advanced Yogis

Once you have mastered the art of performing Baddha Konasana, try these level-up poses to make your hip-opening yoga practice more advanced: 

Level-Up Pose 1 - Malasana (Garland Pose)

Level-Up Pose 2 - Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose)

Level-Up Pose 3 - Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upward Seated Angle Pose)

Level-Up Pose 4 - Upavista Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Malasana (Garland Pose)

Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose)

Surya Yantrasana (Compass Pose)

Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upward Seated Angle Pose)

Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upward Seated Angle Pose)

Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)

Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)

Similar Seated & Hip-Opening Poses like Baddha Konasana

The following is a list of seated yoga asanas that are similar to Baddha Konasana practice: 

  1. Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

  2. Malasana (Garland Pose)

  3. Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)

  4. Siddhasana (Accomplished Pose)

  5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Frequently Asked Questions about Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

What are the benefits of Baddha Konasana?

What is the right position for Baddha Konasana?

What muscles does Supta Baddha Konasana stretch?

Can beginners perform Baddha Konasana pose?

What are the different Supta Baddha Konasana poses?

Articles about Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Yoga For Hypertension: 5 Yoga Asanas to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common condition that can affect your arteries. Nearly one in three people experience hypertension each year....

Continue Reading
Yoga for Seniors: Poses and Practices for Balance and Fall Prevention

As we age, our bodies change and become more susceptible to falls and injuries. However, practicing yoga can help seniors improve their balance, flexi...

Continue Reading
Yoga for Carpal Tunnel: Top 10 Yoga Poses, Benefits, FAQs

Do you ever experience pain or tingling in your hands and fingers? It could be carpal tunnel syndrome, a common condition that affects many people who...

Continue Reading
Ratings & Reviews

Thu, Jun 06

Excellent class Excellent teacher Thanks

Wed, Jun 05

After having a low mood yesterday, today’s session...Read more

Thu, Jun 06

Excellent class

Wed, Jun 05

Thx 🙏sandya for wonderful class as always. Have...Read more

Wed, Jun 05

Ashtanga practice is always a great learning exper...Read more

Wed, Jun 05

Learn Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) with Expert Indian Yoga Teachers – FREE!
Sign up for a free trial with MyYogaTeacher and get 14-days of unlimited live yoga classes online plus 2 complimentary private yoga sessions to help you get started!

Looking to practice Baddha Konasana ?

Drop your email in the field below, and we'll let you know as soon as we've added a Baddha Konasana !