Seated Angle Pose (Upavista Konasana)
The Story Behind the Name:
Upavista Konasana – Seated Angle Pose (oo-pah-VEESH-tah cone-AHS-ah-nah) is a advanced or intense pose and a part of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga
Upavistha konasana is seated forward bend that requires flexibility and stretches the hamstrings and groins, while strengthening the supporting muscles of your spine.
Upavistha konasana helps to improve your posture and promote ease and comfort in your body.
“Upavistha konasana” consists of three Sanskrit words:
- “Upavista” — meaning “seated or sitting”
- “Kona” — meaning “angle”
- “Asana” — meaning “pose” or “posture”
Upavistha konasana calms the mind and the nervous system.
The common English name for upavistha konasana is simple angle seated forward bend but also sometimes referred to as wide angle seated pose.
Technical details and how to start:
- Seated in Dandasana (Staff pose), spread the legs out as wide as comfortable with the toes and knee caps pointing straight up. The legs should form an approximate right angle or about 90 degrees.
- Inhale the arms up towards the ceiling and look up, and exhale the arms come forward catching the outside of your shins with your fingers.
- Walk the fingertips forward until you catch the outside of your feet with your hand and your forehand touch the floor.
- Gently deepening the stretch. Keep the focus on reaching out from the waist to keep the spine long.
- Breathe and stay in this position for 5 breaths.
- To come out of the pose, come up with a straight back, pressing your sitting bones down, as you exhale.
- Opens the hips.
- Stretches the insides of the legs.
- Stimulates the abdominal organs.
- Strengthens the spine.
- Releases the groin.
- Calms the brain.
- Have the hands hold onto the ankles or shins first.
- Place a bolster or several blankets between the legs to rest the torso on or a head onto a block.
- You can bend your knees to maintain a straight spine and slowly move into the forward fold.
- Sitting on a support – folded blanket – will help tilt the pelvis forward.
- Sitting with your legs wider apart often creates more freedom to stretch forward.
- Avoid this pose is you have hamstring or groin pull or tear.
- Avoid this pose is you have lower-back injury.
- If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.