Buttafly - a versatile
seat and prop for
Yoga and Pilates
Designed by TillyLou James, Chartered Physiotherapist and Yoga Teacher to complement the shape of the body, the Buttafly makes for a supremely versatile seat and prop for use in Yoga and similar practices where support is required to help make a position or posture more comfortable.
SITTING With the Buttafly, no longer do you need to slouch or perch uncomfortably on the edge of a regular Yoga block. The Buttafly offers the perfect support for effortless cross-legged sitting with good posture to help you get the most out of your practice. It supports the pelvis so that the sitting bones take our weight just as nature intended. The indent at the back edge of the support allows the buttock flesh to fall away, thereby avoiding all pressure on the base of the spine so that the whole length of the spine feels light and free.
The gently sloping upper surface makes it easy for you to sit with a neutral pelvis as compared to when you sit on the floor or a regular Yoga block, when the pelvis tends to roll backwards into a posterior pelvic tilt, dragging the sacrum with it and flattening out the natural curve in the low back (lumbar spine). With the pelvis and the base of the spine well aligned, the rest of the spine naturally comes into better alignment making it easier to breathe well.
The indent at the front of the Buttafly provides room for the feet – depending of course on how you come into the cross-legged position.
SQUATTING The Buttafly can help us practice a squat in two ways:
- By placing it under the heels – this takes the stress out of the ankles helping us to settling into a deeper flexion of the hips and knees;
- By placing it under the sit bones, with enough height offered by the support that the body weight is taken through the feet and the Buttafly, is just there to help you balance, taking a tiny bit of weight and by way of its inclined surface, helps to prevent you falling backwards.
SAVASANA 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. After bath time, following nappy change or during play, it is 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 is 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.
It is also important to offer support in supine with the arms overhead when the shoulders are not flexible enough to allow the arms rest on the floor without causing unwanted movement in the spine. The trick in this position is to offer as much support as necessary, effectively bringing the floor up to meet the arms, so that the spine is not dragged into extension. You will know if this happens because the chest and and the front of the rib cage will be lifted up too.
BALASANA Here, a Standard Buttafly is being used to support the forehead in Balasana (Child’s Pose) – much more comfortable than using a rectangular block offering space for the nose