urdhva mukha baddha konasana (butterfly-fish pose)

urdhva mukha baddha konasana (butterfly-fish pose)

urdhva mukha baddha konasana

This post is related to a series of post about asana variations.
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Some yogi’s claim that are as many asana’s as there are life-forms in this universe. Every being is a unique expression of the divine, an electron-magnetic signature. Others say that are 72.000 asana’s, some say 72 and others hold that if you master the 12 basic asana’s, you will receive all the benefits and attain yoga. The last see the majority of asana’s as variations on these 12. Yoga is honoring the diversity of nature, with that the expression of you body mind. Be your own teacher, and keep a beginners mind, when ever you practice yoga asana. Keep exploring, experimenting, that is how you will learn. Find calmness in a pose, that doesn’t say you have to be completely still or motionless. Keep the body mind active, let the body explore the pose. Exploring in ways of endurance, focus and relaxation. (sthira & sukha) Some days you want to take it even further, letting creativity into the asana and see where the asana will take you.
Urdhva mukha baddha konasana (upward facing bound angle pose)  is a hybrid between baddha konasana and matsyasana. It combines the benefits of both poses and adds an extra squeeze in between the shoulder blades, and loosens them from the spine. It is a strong groin- and hip-opener, + chest (hearth) opener. Considering this it can have an effect on your emotional body. Ideally practiced at the end of the practice, after sarvangasana.

sequencing;

  • From baddha konasana, carefully recline back with an arched spine. Bring the top of head on the mat, not the back of head. You may want to take the hands next to ears for a moment to give yourself a push up and get comfortable into this position. Take the hands under the outside upper legs and let them take the outside ankles. Pull the ankles closer to the pelvis and squeeze the shoulders more together and rest on the elbows and forearms. Adjust the positon of the head and hands to find your maximum arch of the back, and depth of the hips. Getting out; release hands and arms take support on the elbows and fore-arms, slowly come back up.
  • From mastyenasana, take the legs into a baddha konasana position, soles together, and take the hands around the outside ankles and pull them closer to the pelvis. Keep the top of head on the mat, and carefully arch the spine, support on the elbows. Getting out; releasing the ankles,  slowly get back up, support on the elbows and fore-arms. (or taking an ashtanga vinyasa variation; cakrasana to get out of the pose).
  • From dhanur asana roll into parsva dhanur asana. Roll further into urdhva mukha baddha konasana, adjust to make your self more comfortable. Getting out; roll on to the other side to take the other half of parsa dhanur asana, or roll back into the same side parsva dhanur asana.

(as you will be resting on the top of your head, which is a sensitive spot, you may want to make sure that you have a yoga mat under the head)

  • breath; exhaling into the pose, contracting abdomen and arching the spine, inhaling out of the pose. Deep calm breathing while in the pose.
  • time; when practicing it as a counter-asana for sarvangasana, take half the time of the time in sarvangasana, to stay in the pose. When practicing it as a more restorative pose at the end of a practice for opening the heart, chest and hips, before going in to a shavasana, take about 2 min or more if comfortable. Otherwise, 5 to 9 deep breaths.
  • awareness; on mooladhara chakra, anahata or the sahasara chakra.
  • dhristi; in between the eyebrows, (internal)

health benefits;

  • Expands the lung capacity
  • Stimulates the heart and improves circulation
  • Encourages deep breathing
  • Helps relieve asthma
  • Opens the chest, correcting round-shoulders
  • Strengthens the back muscles
  • Gives a backward stretch to the thoracic and cervical sections of the spine
  • Gently stretches the neck muscles and shoulders
  • Brings an increased supply of blood to the cervical and thoracic regions of the back
  • relieves sciatic pain and prevents hernia
  • The pelvis, the abdomen and the back are stimulated by a plentiful blood supply.
  • Stretches the inner thighs, groins and knees
  • Massages your internal organs and improves digestive circulation
  • Stimulates abdominal organs, ovaries, prostate gland and bladder
  • When practiced regularly, it relieves pain and heaviness in the testicles
  • High blood pressure
  • Flat feet
  • Infertility
  • For women, coupled with Sarvangasana, it checks irregular menses and helps the ovaries to function properly.
  • Stimulates the anahata chakra (heart psychic center), mooladhara (root center)  and sahasara  chakra
  • Brings more prana to the neck, shoulders and pelvis
  • Helps to regulate emotions and stress

variation; let go of the ankles and take the hands on the knees to add a little weight to get them a bit more close to the floor.
Precautions
This asana should be avoided in case of groin, knee injury, back problems, high blood pressure or any cardiac problems, recent surgery and pregnancy. Be slow and careful while doing the asana as in almost all the yoga asanas. This asana should be avoided by ladies if menstruating or should be performed under guidance of a yoga expert during those days.

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