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.
Phalakasana: Plank Pose
Phalakasana (fall-ack-AHS-anna), is an essential posture for a strong yoga practice. Holding plank pose will improve your endurance and muscle tone, help develop the strength needed for more complex poses, and generate heat and stimulating the navel chakra.
Philosophy + Origin
Hidden in the pose’s name is the Sanskrit word “phala,” which means to bear fruit or ripen. In yoga, the idea of tapas, often translated as “heat,” “passion,” or “discipline,” fuels the physical asana practice, encouraging students to seek out the challenge again and again in order to become stronger, to build an internal flame in the body that fuels every aspect of life. When you think of plank pose as an opportunity to “ripen” or “bear fruit,” you become aware of the transformative effect of this seemingly simple (although challenging) pose. Each time you enter the pose, use the breath to ripen the fruit of your labors. The ability to hold this pose with steadiness and grace is known to create major shifts in your practice and your life.