How to Do Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana) in Yoga

Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

Cobblers pose
Ben Goldstein

Also Known As: Bound Angle Pose, Butterfly Pose

Targets: Hips and groin muscles

Level: Beginner

Cobbler's Pose (baddha konasana) is an essential pose for beginners. You can expect to see this pose often in yoga class. It's a good basic stretch that almost anyone can do, even if it takes a few props to get there. If your hips are tight, make sure to sit up on a folded blanket or two to raise your seat. You'll be surprised how this trick allows you to sit up straighter with much more comfort.

Benefits

Cobbler's Pose opens the hips and groin. Babies and young children often sit on the floor in this position. Adults often lose the habit, tending instead to spend more time sitting in chairs with legs together. Postural problems, including back pain, can result. Stretching the hips and inner thighs in Baddha Konasana can begin to counteract the effects of spending too much time sitting at a desk or in a car. It will also help prepare you for other meditative seated poses as those require good flexibility in the hips and groin.

Instructions

Begin seated in Staff Pose (Dandasana) with your legs outstretched straight in front of you.

  1. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together as you let your knees fall out to either side.
  2. Draw your feet in as close to your body as is comfortable. Back off if you feel any pain in your knees.
  3. Press the outer edges of your feet together strongly. The feet may begin to open like a book. You can encourage this with your hands or hold onto your big toes in a yogi toe lock
  4. Sit up tall with a long spine while keeping your shoulder blades on your back and your shoulders moving away from your ears.

Common Mistakes

Don't push your knees down with your hands or try to force them down. If your knees won't go to the floor, simply leave them in the lowest natural position. Try to release the heads of the thigh bones. With practice, it is likely that you will develop the flexibility that allows them to go to the floor unassisted. If you are not comfortable, you can place a block under your knee for support.

Don't round your back and shoulders. You want a long torso with your shoulders relaxed.

Modifications and Variations

Reclined Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) is a version of the pose where you keep your legs as they are while lying down on your back.

Need a Modification?

Place padding under your sit bones if your spine wants to round forward when you sit flat on the floor. This is also good to do if you have tight hips and your knees are raised off the floor as a result.

You can position a block or other prop under each knee for support if your knees are very far from the floor.

Up for a Challenge?

Come into a forward bend by tipping your pelvis forward. Make sure you are coming forward with a flat back instead of rounding your spine into it. You can place your elbows on your inner thighs and exert gentle pressure to help them open. If your head comes close to the floor but doesn't quite make it there, place a block under your forehead for support.

Safety and Precautions

Avoid this pose if you have a groin or knee injury and experience any pain while performing it.

Be sure that you don't force the position and you enter into it and out of it smoothly. Don't move your knees up and down to try to deepen the stretch.

Try It Out

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

Was this page helpful?