It might seem like crazy yoga speak, but according to yoga philosophy, the hips are the body’s junk drawer! The hips are the place in the body where we store emotions we don’t quite know what to do with. Having a painful experience? Just push it into the hips! Frustration? Let’s eliminate that – hips will take it! Anger? – can’t show that! Better push it into the hips again!
Unfortunately, we can get away with that for just so long. Sooner or later the body responds. Maybe it will respond with just a little bit of “dis” “ease” – a little pain here; another one there; a headache here, a little stiffness there; or maybe it will respond more violently with a serious illness that is incapacitating.
Although not all sickness is caused by stress, doctors seem to agree that stress is the #1 cause of illness. While opening the hips in a yoga pose may not be a total cure for stress, anxiety and frustration, you WILL feel better after a mindful practice.
The pose we are going to do today is called Bodakonasana in Hatha Yoga and Butterfly in Yin Yoga. We will practice it the Yin way.
To come into Butterfly:
1) Come to a seated position with your hips positioned on a mat or on a carpet.
2) Bring the soles of the feet together making a diamond shape with the hips, knees and feet.
3) Place the hands loosely on the ankles or shins.
4) Lift and lengthen the spine on an inhale and round yourself forward on an exhale.
5) Breathe easily and deeply. Breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 1 and breathe out for a count of 4. Release and breathe normally if it becomes too much of an effort.
6) Hold the pose for 3-5 minutes.
Place several blankets or towels under your hips.
Use a bolster to rest the top of your head.
Put blocks or books under your knees.
If you have a bad back or a rounded spine, do this pose with a straight spine!
To come out of the pose keep the chin tucked as you gently round up. With the eyes closed sit in stillness for a minute or two. Open your eyes and notice the way you feel!
Enjoy (in joy!) See you next time!