Using The Buttafly As A Yoga Block
If you like to use yoga blocks & props for your practice, you’ll love the Buttafly!
The wedged-shape and fluid curves are designed to fit around your body to provide firm yet comfortable support.
For yoga, Pilates, the MUTU system and all floor-based exercises the Buttafly can be used in many different ways to help you get into the correct position. Be comfortable, stay a little longer, let stress and tension just melt away.
No more do you need to complain about the hard edges of regular yoga blocks digging into the back of your thighs or be frustrated by cushions sagging or uneven blankets.
The Buttafly can be used in place of bolsters, bricks, pillows, blankets and conventional yoga blocks.
It works especially well for providing support in long-held positions such as during restorative and Yin Yoga.
“Support the body well and the letting-go just happens,” says our designer, Loulou James who is also a Chartered Physiotherapist and Yoga Teacher.
Child's Pose (Balasana)
For Your Neck
The Buttafly can be used in various ways to support the forehead at the right height for the back of your neck to be nice and long.
Under Your Bottom
If you find it difficult to relax in Child’s Pose because your bottom doesn’t reach your heels, wedge the gap with a Standard Buttafly as shown here.
Heart-Opening - Level 1
This is a wonderfully gentle and relaxing position.
It can be a helpful modification to Savasana for those who struggle to lie flat on the floor, and is especially useful for anyone who feels breathless when they lie flat.
It’s a good way to relieve postural tension after a day in the office, freeing up the neck and shoulder areas.
A Standard Buttafly rests under the shoulder blades while a Tall Buttafly supports the head.
Heart-Opening - Level 2
Two Buttaflys are used here to support a heart-opening pose.
A Standard Buttafly rests under the ribs to raise the chest relative to the neck, thereby stimulating the baroreflex and calming the heart rate.
A Flat Buttafly offloads the sacrum and tailbone and, by lifting the pelvis a little, reduces the intensity compared to Level 3.
Heart-Opening - Level 3
This is the most advanced position and is positions the body in a similar position to the classic “Iyengar” heart-opening pose.
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
Even a modified Pigeon Pose presents a strong challenge for many people.
The extended back leg has to have good flexibility of the hip.
Often people compensate for stiffness of the hip and tight muscles by over-arching their lumbar spine.
The forward bent leg has to be really quite flexible for your bottom to reach the floor.
If there is not sufficient range, people will often compensate by twisting their pelvis.
This key to doing this pose well is to keep the pelvis square. The wedged shape of the Buttafly will help you do this. Depending on your flexibility, use a Standard Buttafly or a Tall one.
Squat Pose (Malasana)
The Buttafly can be used to help you come into a squat in two ways:
Use a Standard Buttafly under your heels. This takes the stress off of the ankle joints allowing you settle into a deeper flexion at the hips and knees.
Alternatively, use a Standard or Tall Buttafly under your sit bones. Try and keep as much weight as you can in your feet while the Buttafly takes some of your weight off the hips and knees – and also prevents you from falling backward.
Corpse Pose (Savasasana)
Here, a Flat Buttafly and a Standard Buttafly are being used to offer support under the ankles. This contact around the back of the ankles feels supportive and comfortable and can help people for the simple reason that contact in this way mimics early maternal touch: At bath time, following a nappy change or during play, it’s very natural for a mother to hold around her baby’s ankles and jiggle the legs.
Positioning the ankles like this can soothe the nervous system and help people switch off more easily – in some ways it’s as if the body does not know how to stay alert and “wired” in this position!
For the same reason, support around the wrists can feel very comfortable and relaxing too.
Love Your Wrists
Anyone who has injured their wrists or has a form of arthritis may find they cannot extend their wrists enough to be able to come into 4-point kneeling or Downward-Facing Dog.
In poses like these, the arms become weight-bearing and, just as in standing when our feet need to be flat on the floor, so too do our hands. If you don’t have sufficient range or are suffering from painful wrists, using the Standard Buttafly as shown should help and making poses like this accessible once again.
Love Your Shoulders
When you lie on your back and raise your arms overhead, if your the shoulders are not flexible enough to allow your hands to rest on the floor without strain, support them well.
Here, a Tall Buttafly supports each wrist to avoid over-stretching the shoulders and prevent the ribs from lifting up to compensate for tight shoulders.
Love Your Knees
Do you have a poorly knee – one that’s swollen or painful, and doesn’t fully straighten?
The knees love being supported! Here a Standard Buttafly is used under the calf, avoiding direct pressure under the back of the knee and thereby promoting good circulation, to provide comfortable support for the whole leg.
The Buttafly can be used under the thigh instead – in which case you would turn it round to reverse the wedge. Whenever a limb does not meet the floor, the gap is always triangular in shape – that’s why the Buttafly works so well.
Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Bridge Pose can be performed dynamically or held for some time – either actively or supported with props.
Traditionally, a yoga block or brick is placed under the sacrum but many people find this so uncomfortable that they avoid holding the pose with props.
The Buttafly can be used to provide support across the whole width of the pelvis, so spreading the load.
They can be stacked up to give the right height of support for you, depending of course on how deep you wish to take the pose.
Are you an Allied Health Professional or a Massage Therapist & keen to explore new ways to support your clients?
The Buttafly Effect refers to the release of the spine that occurs as a direct result of careful positioning the Buttafly block in supine lying.
With proper application, the Buttafly Technique is effective in providing relief from back pain and associated symptoms.
We invite you to learn how to incorporate this outstanding new technique accredited by the Complementary Medical Association into your work for back care and relief of pain.