Yoga Poses

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend /Upavistha Konasana

Steps

Begin in Seated Mountain Pose on the floor with both legs stretched out in front of you. Press out through the heels. Then, spread your legs away from one another, opening them to a 90 degree angle. Engage the inner thigh muscles. Continue to press out through the heels of both feet. Elongate the spine and reach toward the ceiling with the crown of the head. Leaving the legs in the same position, begin to hinge forward at the hips. Use the hands to “walk” the torso down, bringing it closer and closer to the mat. Remember to work at your own pace. Exhale and relax into the pose

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Keep your back flat in this pose by imagining a string pulling the crown of your head up. Keeping your back flat, chest open, and heart lifted, slowly let the torso descend toward the mat. Be patient as your hips gradually open. Always encourage the stretch, but never force it.

Technical Comments

Be sure that your knees are facing up toward the ceiling the entire time you are in this pose. Press out through the heels letting the toes point back toward the forehead. Also, make sure the heels stay on the floor so that you do not hyper-extend the knees

Benefit Comments

  • Opens the hips and hamstrings.
  • Elongates the spine.
  • Promotes calmness.
  • Stimulates circulation to the liver, spleen, and adrenals.

Watch Out For:

  • Hyper-extension of the knees.
  • Rounded upper spine (Rounding is acceptable only if the breastbone is parallel to the mat.
  • Feet and knees must face the ceiling while in this pose.

Contraindications

Lower back pain (Use modification listed below).

Modifications

If lower back pain is present, place a folded blanket underneath the “sit” bones. Keeping the spine long and the chest open, lean gently forward into the stretch. Find a spot that is comfortable for your back and one that engages your hamstrings. If you are not comfortable opening the legs to a 90 degree angle, bring the legs closer together. Listen to your body and know that any angle will be fine.

Variations

  • Add a slight twist: Sit up tall with feet and legs in the position described above. Twisting from the belly button, bring the torso directly over the right leg. Begin to hinge forward at the right hip flexor. Hold for several breath cycles and then switch legs.
  • Head-to-Knee Forward Bend

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Cobbler’s Pose (a.k.a. Bound Angle Pose).
  • Lotus, Easy, or Firewood Pose
  • Pigeon.
  • Cow-Face Pose.

Written By: Amber Kocian RYT

Amber encourages students to test their limits, but gently reminds them to listen to and respect their bodies as they are each day. She believes that a safe, consistent yoga practice has the power to help anyone in every aspect of their lives.

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