Upavistha Konasana or Wide Leg Forward Fold as it is called in English is a popular seated bend. This single pose can stretch your hamstrings, hips, lower back, spine, and groin. It is often suggested for preparing your body for deeper bends, twists and wide-leg standing poses.
If you have been planning to start this Upavistha Konasana pose, this is the perfect article for you. From explaining what exactly this pose is to revealing its excellent benefits, we have discussed it all. Let’s get started.
What is Upavistha Konasana?
First things first. The word Upavistha Konasana comes from the Sanskrit language just like other yoga poses. The name consists of three words – Upavistha, Kona, and Asana. Here Upavistha means seated, Kona means angle, and Asana means pose or posture. Thus, Upavistha Konasana meaning in English is Seated Angle Pose. It is also known as Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend.
One of the main reasons why this pose is so famous is because it is a foundational pose in many schools of yoga. It is also part of primary series of Ashtanga yoga. It also helps in relaxing the body and preparing it for other seated and twisted yoga poses.
How To Do Upavistha Konasana
No doubt that Upavistha Konasana is the primary pose for many poses but it is not really an easy pose. You require significant flexibility in your body. Many people who start yoga for beginners find it a challenging pose. This is why they are suggested to prepare their body with some other yoga poses before starting Upavistha Konasana.
You should also try the following preparatory poses if you wish to practice Upavistha Konasana:
- Baddha Konasana(Bound Angle Pose)
- Sapta Baddha Konasana(Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
- Dandasana (Staff pose or Stick pose)
- Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Head-to-big toe pose)
Once you have mastered the preparatory poses, you can follow the below-listed steps to perform Upavistha Konasana yoga:
Step 1: To begin this pose, you have to sit in Dandasana or the Staff pose by stretching your legs forward. Keep your spine straight and place your arms by your sides.
Step 2: Once you are relaxed in Dandasana, start opening your legs wide such that they make a 90-degree angle with your hips. Keep your toes pointed upwards.
Step 3: Take a deep breath and raise your spine upwards.
Step 4: Exhale and bend your torso forward. You will experience a stretch in your thighs, hips, spine, and hamstrings as you keep bending your body. However, do not stretch if you feel uncomfortable. Stretch as long as you are feeling good and then place your palms on the floor.
Step 5: Hold this position for 30-40 seconds.
Step 6: To release the pose, exhale and gently pull your body back and trace your movements back to the initial position. Repeat the pose.
Here are some popular variations of Upavistha Konasana yoga you can add to your home workouts:
- Parsva Upavistha Konasana: One of the most famous variations, Parsva Upavistha Konasana or Seated Side Straddle Pose is a lateral stretch that specifically stretches your ribcage muscles and spine.
- Parivrtta Upavistha Konasana: It is an advanced variation in which you bend your body sideways instead of forward. This is why it is also known as Revolved Seated Angle Pose.
- Urdhva Upavistha Konasana: Another advanced version of Upavistha Konasana, this pose requires you to lift your legs upwards and balance your body on your sit bones. It can drastically improve your body balance and strength.
- Supta Upavistha Konasana: It is also known as the Reclining Angle Pose and is done to especially stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. It is also great for your thyroid gland.
Since all the variations mentioned above are advanced-level poses, you must perform them under an expert’s supervision.
Here are the best Upavistha Konasana benefits you can enjoy with regular practice:
- A Great Full-Body Stretch
No doubt that this yoga gives an excellent stretch to your lower body but it also stretches your shoulders, spine, and neck. This, in turn, improves flexibility of the muscles and reduces the risk of injury and muscles soreness.
- Tones Abdominal Muscles
If you want to get rid of belly fat, you should definitely try Upavistha Konasana. This yoga can tone the abdominal muscles and burn belly fat. Not just this, you can also strengthen your stomach and reduce the risk of kidney-related problems.
- Boosts Spine Health
With regular practice, Upavistha Konasana can significantly improve your spine health. This is not just about flexibility but also about your entire nervous system.
- Calms The Brain
Upavistha Konasana also helps in relaxing and calming the mind. This, in turn, leads to several benefits such as better sleep, lower anxiety, elevated mood, reduced stress, sharp memory, and many more.
Apart from this, Upavistha Konasana also helps in:
- Curing sciatica pain
- Reducing joint pain and preventing arthritis
- Activating core muscles
- Improving body’s balance and stability
- Stimulates Svadisthana chakra to boost creativity and pleasure
- Detoxifying the kidneys
Precautions and Tips
Upavistha Konasana is a great yoga to perform but you should also keep some precautions in mind to stay on the safer side. Some of the essential precautions and tips are as follows:
- It is suggested that you should perform this yoga early in the morning on an empty stomach. Or try to avoid eating at least 3-5 hours before the session.
- Those who have injuries in the legs, lower back, groin, and hips, should avoid this yoga.
- Pregnant women should also refrain from Upavistha Konasana.
- If you feel any pain or discomfort during this pose, exit the pose slowly. Take a doctor’s advice if the pain persists.
Upavistha Konasana is one of the best yoga poses that can stretch your legs and open your hips. If you have a sedentary lifestyle, you should try to practice such poses to alleviate body stiffness and improve your spinal health. And now with online yoga classes available, you can learn Upavistha Konasana from experts anytime, anywhere. Just sign up and stay consistent.
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