Upavistha Konasana: Wide-Seated Angle Pose
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.
- 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.
- Begin sitting in staff pose (dandasana). Slide your heels out as wide as you can without strain.
- Lift your hips up, send your tailbone back, then place your hips back down.
- Rotate your inner thighs up toward the ceiling so your kneecaps face straight up. Extend through your heels.
- 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.
- Hold the pose for up to 60 seconds. Gently lift your torso, then use your hands to bring your knees together to release.
- Cobblers pose | Baddha konasana
- Wide-legged forward fold | Prasarita padottanasana
- Reclined hand to foot | Supta padangusthasana
- Tortoise pose | Kurmasana
- Garland pose | Malasana
- Cow face pose | Gomukhasana
- Easy pose | Sukhasana
- Seated forward fold | Paschimottanasana
- Upavistha = seated
- Kona = angle
- Asana = pose
- Stretches the groin, adductor muscles, and hamstrings.
- Strengthens the muscles along the spine.
- Thought to improve posture.
Ardha Matsyendrasana: Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Ardha matsyendrasana (ARE-dah MOT-see-en-DRAHS-ah-nah) is an approachable twist that opens the shoulders and chest. A good antidote for too much sitting and symptoms that come with overusing technology, half lord of the fishes pose has the ability to increase energy in the body while also stoking the digestive fire in your belly.
Philosophy + Origin
Matsyendra is often recognized as one of the original founders of hatha yoga in yogic mythology. He was said to be a baby who was thrown into the ocean after his parents rejected him. The story of Matsyendra reminds us that it’s often the parts of our personal stories we don’t like or don’t want to accept that can be the most beneficial, especially on the path to becoming a yogi or yogini. Rather than conceptualizing the twist to be a purge of what is unwanted or unnecessary, think of the detoxification as a purification, an opportunity to take what was once viewed or understood as “bad” and transform it into something that is helpful on your personal journey.