Straight Angle Pose Samakonasana
Straight angle pose is a wide legged seated straddle, sometimes practiced as double splits. Straight angle pose is an advanced asana, typical of Ashtanga, Yin yoga or Vinyasa inspired Ashtanga. This pose requires time and patience, but its rewards are many. Straight angle Pose is the ultimate hip opener, improving flexibility of hip rotators and stretching the entire leg from hip to toe.
Begin in a seated position with your legs extended along the floor (staff pose). Spread the legs as wide as is comfortable. Flex the feet with toes pointing upward. Lift the torso up and out of the hips. Relax the shoulders and straighten back and spine. Bring hands to prayer and gaze to fingertips. To exit the pose, release the hands to the ground and draw legs together, returning to staff pose. Repeat daily to improve flexibility.
Visualization CommentsSomatic yoga theory says that many emotions are stored in the hips. Straight angle pose seeks to release those emotions. On the inhale, breathe into the stretch; on the exhale release all tension. Relax and enjoy the space created by the absence of emotion.
Technical CommentsFrom staff pose, slide hands under buttocks and move the flesh aside to balance on the sit bones. Next, using both hands gently draw one leg and then the other to a wide V (as much as is comfortable- do not strain). Using the hands begin turning the flesh and muscles of the upper thigh outwards. Do this for both legs.
- Stretches and strengthens hips, groin, inner thighs, hamstrings and calves
- Improves flexibility of abductors and lateral hip muscles
- Stimulates spinal nerves and relieves lower back pain
- Reduces hip pain
- Improves circulation and blood blow to abdominal area
- Tones abdominals, hips and glutes
Watch Out For:
- Tight or painful groins, hamstrings, hips (move to a more comfortable straddle)
- Slouching back (sit upright against a wall or bolster)
- Some hip injuries
- Some lower back and sciatica issues
- Open the legs only as far as is comfortable
- Sit on a blanket or block to lift pelvis
- Sit against a wall for back support
- Sit facing a wall, sliding feet along for an extra stretch
- Begin in a standing wide straddle, bring the hands to ground under shoulders, slowly slide feet away from body
Yoga Counter Poses
- Bridge pose
- Wheel pose
- Fish pose
- Seated forward bend