Pose TypeForward Bend, Hip Opener, Seated
Upavistha Konasana (oo-pah-VEESH-tah cone-AHS-anah) upavistha = seated kona = angle
- Lengthens and releases adductor muscles of the groin
- Improves external rotation of the hips
- Strengthens the hip flexors and abdominals
- Stimulates the abdominal organs
- Stretches the hamstrings and lower back
- Increases circulation in the pelvis
- Hip pathologies
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Low back pathologies (avoid rounding)
- Sacroiliac joint pain
- Knee or hip injury
- In a seated position, ground down into your sitting bones and widen your legs out to the sides, forming a 90-degree angle or “V” shape with your pelvis in the center.
- Inhale and lift through your torso to lengthen the spine. Flex your feet and point your toes toward the sky. Press down through your heels and sitting bones.
- As you exhale, engage your thighs and begin to hinge forward at the hips, not the waist. Walk your hands down your legs, as you lower your torso between them.
- Inhale and lengthen the spine once again, reaching through the crown.
- Exhale and begin to dissolve further forward, drawing the abdominals inward and the chest toward the floor.
- To deepen the stretch, reach out and clasp your big toes with your index and middle fingers; then wrap your thumbs around your fingers.
- Hold this pose for five to 10 slow breaths.
- To exit, inhale and elongate the spine while returning to an upright position. Exhale and release the legs back to the midline. Feel free to shake the legs out.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Bend the knees for comfort, or utilize a strap around both feet.
- For a more restorative posture, utilize a bolster under the chest to relax into the stretch.
- Place a blanket beneath your sitting bones to raise the pelvis, allowing you to fold forward a bit easier.
- Balasana (Child’s pose)
- Bakasana (Crow pose)
- Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle pose)
- Navasana (Boat pose)
- Supta Baddha Konasasna (Reclining Bound Angle)
- Upavishta Konasana B (Upright Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend B)
- Keep the upper and lower spine lifted through the torso.
- Support the low back by engaging the abdominals.
- Bend forward at the hips, drawing your chest toward the floor.
- If choosing to round the upper spine, be cautious of the low back and keep extension in the low spine.
- On each inhale, feel your chest lift and spine lengthen. On each exhale, take a deeper forward fold.
- Practice Upavistha Konasana B (Upright Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend).
- Work toward resting on the forehead, nose, or chin.
- Turn your torso to face the right leg. Reach down for the right ankle with both hands and slowly fold forward. Hold for five breaths; then repeat on the opposite side.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Rounding of the lumbar spine
- Pain/strain in the groin or legs (bend the knees)
- Feet not in flexion
- Locked knees
- Knees rolling inward or outward
- Pelvis rolling backward
- Shoulders crunching toward the ears