Upavistha Konasana: Wide-Seated Angle Pose

UpavisthaKonasana_RodneyYee

Upavistha konasana (oo-pah-VEESH-tah cone-AHS-ah-nah) is a soothing – or intense – pose depending on the style and intention of the practice. This seated pose stretches the hamstrings and groins, while strengthening the supporting muscles of your spine. This pose is said to help improve your posture and promote ease and comfort in your body.

Wide-seated angle pose offers very different experiences depending on the intention and style of yoga. Yin and restorative styles will offer a relaxed variation, often with the use of props to support minimal effort.  In a more active practice like vinyasa, the pose may be used to actively stretch and build heat.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Place a rolled blanket under your knees for extra support.
  • Place a folded blanket under your seat to help encourage your pelvis to tip forward and prevent rounding in your spine.
  • Sit against a wall to support your spine.

STEP-BY-STEP:

  1. Begin sitting in staff pose (dandasana). Slide your heels out as wide as you can without strain.
  2. Lift your hips up, send your tailbone back, then place your hips back down.
  3. Rotate your inner thighs up toward the ceiling so your kneecaps face straight up. Extend through your heels.
  4. Press your thigh bones into the ground and walk your hands forward. As you move forward, keep your torso long and your spine neutral. Bring your hands as far forward as you can while maintaining the length between your pubic bone and your navel.
  5. Hold the pose for up to 60 seconds. Gently lift your torso, then use your hands to bring your knees together to release.

PREPARATORY POSES:

SEQUENTIAL POSES:

COUNTER POSES:

SANSKRIT:

  • Upavistha = seated
  • Kona = angle
  • Asana = pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stretches the groin, adductor muscles, and hamstrings.
  • Strengthens the muscles along the spine.
  • Thought to improve posture.


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Parsva Bakasana: Side Crow Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS    |     TIPS

Parsva bakasana (PARSH-vah bahk-AHS-anna) is an arm balancing posture requiring a deep twist in the torso. This posture tones the belly and spine. As an arm balance, side crow gives the gift of confidence, balance, and focus.

Philosophy + Origin

Often referred to as the crow pose, bakasana actually translates to crane pose, which may conjure up much more attractive symbolism. Crow pose, or kakasana, is a slightly different pose. In kakasana, the arms are bent; in bakasana, the arms are straight. As the arms straighten into bakasana, the imagery becomes much clearer – the arms long and graceful; the body still and regal. In Asian cultures, especially Japan, the crane represents happiness, eternal youth, good fortune, and longevity. And while the crow is thought to be a harbinger of bad luck or misfortune, in many cultures it symbolizes magic, mystery, intelligence, and destiny.

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