why sitting butterfly pose?
Butterflies, or titali in Sanskrit, are holometabolous insects. That trainingis, they go through a complete metamorphosis—a four-stage life cycle. This cycle is a remarkable series of changes between very different forms that culminate in the emergence of a butterfly. The metamorphosis of an egg to a butterfly is a wonder of nature and the parallel of the butterfly’s transformation, to growing from a child into an adult provided the inspiration for this pose. Let’s begin your metamorphosis!
Mimicking the beginning stage of a butterfly, begin the pose by sitting tall, bring your knees into your chest, wrap your arms around your legs and relax your shoulders so that you mirror the shape of a little egg. Rest your head on your knees and sit quietly for five breaths.
Next, expand into the likeness of a caterpillar by placing your hands on the floor by your hips, stretch your legs out in front of you and then bring your legs and feet together. As you breathe out, bend your knees into your chest like an inchworm. As you inhale, stretch your legs long again. Repeat five times. The chrysalis is the caterpillar’s final stage before her full transformation. Here, you can bring your knees into your chest again, wrap your arms around your legs and relax your shoulders. Rest your he ad on your knees and sit quietly for five breaths.
When you are ready to emerge into the full butterfly, lift your head and open one wing at a time, keeping your knees bent as the soles of your feet come together. Bring your feet in comfortably close to your body and spread your wings. Reach your arms out and up and down, flutter like a butterfly!
Rest your hands on your knees, sit still for five full breaths and then slowly bend forward for a nice hip stretch. Rest here for five more breaths and open up to the sensation of the back of your body releasing and stretching. With your knees bent and the soles of your feet together, lie back. Bring your feet in close to your body, stretch your arms out and turn the palms of your hands to the sky. As you exhale, bring your legs together, place the soles of your feet on the floor and as you inhale, open your legs. Bring the soles of your feet together and repeat this movement five times.
After having fully transformed, you can now become a sleeping butterfly. Close your eyes and lie on your back with your legs and wings open while you feel the front of your body stretch. Rest for five minutes.
To demonstrate how you and your little ones can flutter and soar, Darlene D’Arezzo, founder of Kids Yoga Circle, comes together with model Lotus Daulter to illustrate the benefits of purna titali asana, or sitting butterfly pose. Connecting with children is not only Darlene’s passion; it is her special gift. Many of her students struggle with various behavioral challenges including Down syndrome, hyperactivity disorder and other illnesses that can have a long-term effect on attention, health and well-being. A pioneer in the field of children’s yoga, she founded Kids Yoga Circle in 2004 and jubilantly conducts kids classes and workshops, family retreats and teacher trainings.
Darlene D’Arezzo leads yoga classes, workshops and retreats for children, families and teachers worldwide. kidsyogacircle.com. Model: Lotus Daulter
Professor Sasi Velupillai