What is Upavistha Konasana?
Upavistha Konasana gets its name from Sanskrit terms ‘Upavistha’ meaning open, ‘kona’ meaning angle, and ‘asana’ meaning posture. Also known as Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend or the Seated Straddle Pose, this asana gives your body an intense stretch.
Upavistha Konasana pose doesn’t find a mention in medieval hatha yoga, but has been mentioned in yoga texts dating to the 1960s under a different name.
The Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend works on your lower body, particularly on your back, calves, and thighs.
Who should do Upavistha Konasana?
Upavistha Konasana is a pose that can be done by a variety of people. including:
- People who suffer from frequent digestive problems.
- Those who experience chronic stress.
- People who suffer from lower back problems.
- Those who are suffering from arthritis.
- Women who experience menstruation-related difficulties.
- Those who want to improve their range of motion should do the Upavistha Konasana yoga pose.
Who should avoid Upavistha Konasana?
Upavistha Konasana pose must not be performed by people who are suffering from any of these conditions:
- Injury in the ankles, shoulders, hips, pelvis, lower back, or knees.
- Stiffness or pain in the groin or hamstrings.
- Pregnant women.
- People who suffer from weakness in the ankles, legs, back, and knees.
- Herniated disc.
- High or low blood pressure.
- Chronic headaches or migraine.
How is Upavistha Konasana done?
Since the Upavistha Konasana yoga pose is an intense stretching pose, you need to perfect its steps to avoid injuries.
Here is a step-by-step explanation of the Upavistha Konasana yoga pose:
- Sit comfortably on a yoga mat in the Dandasana pose.
- Slowly put your legs in a wide stretch, so that they make an angle of 90-degrees with your pelvis.
- Keep your toes pointing up and adjust your knees.
- Keep your palms behind your hips on the ground.
- Take a long breath in and slowly lower your back while engaging your core muscles.
- Put your hands in the front and extend them as much as you comfortably can.
- Hold the position for as long as you can.
- Slowly breathe out, raise your back, straighten your legs, and return to the starting position of the Upavistha Konasana yoga pose.
Which are some variations of Upavistha Konasana?
Here are some great variations of Upavistha Konasana to give yourself a stimulus and progress your practice:
1. Urdhva Upavistha Konasana
Also known as the Upward-facing wide-angle seated pose, this is an excellent pose to improve your balance and strengthen your legs, abs, and spine.
Steps involved in Urdhva Upavistha Konasana:
- Sit in the Baddha Konasana pose and hook your first two fingers around both your big toes.
- Take a deep breath out and tilt back.
- Balance your body on your sit bones.
- Take a deep breath in and straighten your legs while keeping your kneecaps pulled up.
- Keep your shoulders down, spine extended, and chest lifted.
- Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds and return to the starting position.
2. Parsva Upavistha Konasana
Also known as the side seated angle pose, this is a variation of Upavistha Konasana to strengthen your calves and stretch your hips and the lower back. This pose also relieves insomnia and calms your mind.
Steps involved in Parsva Upavistha Konasana:
- To begin this asana, sit comfortably in the Dandasana pose.
- Stretch your legs wide apart and rotate your torso towards one leg.
- Gently bend your body from the hips and fold it over this leg.
- Keep your neck and shoulders stabilised and gaze ahead.
- Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
What are the benefits of Upavistha Konasana?
There are tremendous benefits of Upavistha Konasana both for your mind and body. Here are some great reasons to include this asana in your workout regime:
- One of the most important Upavistha Konasana benefits is that it is extremely beneficial for your lower body. Regularly practising this asana helps activate and strengthen the muscles in your hips, abdomen, and spine. In the long run, this helps in preventing injuries to these areas.
- People who need to drive for long hours or those who lead sedentary lives often feel tension, pain, and stiffness in their lower back. One of the most important wide-angle seated forward bend benefits is that it stretches the spine and releases the pressure in the lower back area. This improves the flexibility of your back and prevents postural problems.
- One of the best Upavistha Konasana benefits is that by helping you burn calories and improve your metabolism, it helps reduce body fat especially from your belly, arms, thighs, and hip areas.
- One of the most effective wide-angle seated forward bend benefits is that it helps reduce stress and anxiety. It improves the circulation to your brain and enhances your cognitive functioning.
- By practising Upavistha Konasana chakra of the third eye is activated. This helps in improving your awareness and concentration.
- By regularly doing Upavistha Konasana chakra of the sacral energy is activated. This enhances your creativity and productivity.
- One of the most effective benefits of Upavistha Konasana is that it stimulates your digestive organs and prevents problems such as gas and constipation.
- This asana doesn’t require an elaborate setup, it is easy to include in your home workouts.
How to do Upavistha Konasana safely?
Since the Upavistha Konasana pose is an intense stretching pose, it is important that you follow the correct procedure, especially while doing yoga for beginners.
Here are some things to keep in mind while doing Upavistha Konasana:
- Never start doing this asana on your own. Learn it from an experienced trainer or join online yoga classes. This is essential to prevent injuries.
- If you have any pre-existing health conditions, consult your doctor before doing Upavistha Konasana.
- Practice Upavistha Konasana early morning on an empty stomach.
- Never overstretch yourself whole doing the wide-angle seated forward bend.
- If you feel pain or dizziness while doing Upavistha Konasana, stop immediately.
Upavistha Konasana is an excellent asana to improve your overall health and fitness. The key is to maintain a healthy lifestyle to gain the benefits of your workout routine.
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