Upavistha Konasana: Wide-Seated Forward Bend Pose

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Upavistha konasana (oo-pah-VEESH-tah cone-AHS-anna) is a soothing way to stretch your hamstrings and groins. This seated pose will also strengthen the supporting muscles of your spine, improving your posture and promoting ease and comfort in your body.

Philosophy + Origin

Wide-seated forward bend pose offers very different experiences for different people. Some people love the pose and can stay in it completely relaxed with minimal effort. Then, of course, there’s the other group who are immediately confronted with discomfort, irritation, and loads of negative self-talk and disbelief. In either camp, the experience of the posture is meant to be educational and, yes, transformational. Staying present in the pose with the breath is where the practice of yoga really comes into play.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Place a rolled blanket under your knees for extra support.
  • Place a folded blanket under your sit bones 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 comfortably.
  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 out through your heels.
  4. Press your thigh bones into the ground and walk your hands forward. As you move forward, keep your front 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 with long breaths for 60 seconds. Gently lift your torso, then use your hands to bring your knees together to release.

PREPARATORY POSES:

FOLLOW-UP POSES:

  • Cow face pose | Gomukhasana
  • Garland pose | Malasana
  • Easy pose | Sukhasana

SANSKRIT:

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

PHYSICAL BENEFITS:

  • Stretches the groin, adductor muscles, and hamstrings.
  • Strengthens the muscles along the spine.
  • Improves posture.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS:

  • Promotes mind-body awareness.

MANTRA:

Om Shanti
Reciting this simple mantra invokes peace and helps you surrender, letting go of excess or limiting thoughts. To practice, recite “Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.”

MUDRA: Dhyana

A soothing gesture that invokes deep contemplation and self awareness, to practice dhyana mudra, place your hands on your lap with your left hand under your right, palms facing up. Bring the tips of the thumbs together to touch.

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