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Upavistha Konasana or Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

Upavistha Konasana
English Name(s)
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend Pose
Sanskrit
उपविष्ठ कोणासन / Upavistha Konasana
Pronunciation
oo-pah-VEESH-tah cone-AHS-anna
Meaning
Upavistha = Wide; Open
Kona = Angle
Asana = Pose; Posture

Upavistha Konasana at a Glance

Upavistha Konasana, also known as the Seated straddle pose in a few yoga texts. This Good Hip opener gives your thighs, legs, and glutes more flexibility. A wide-angle seated forward bend is a good preparatory pose for deeper forward bends.

Who can do it?

Intermediate-level and advanced practitioners and children can do Upavistha Konasana. People with good flexibility and who want to increase the flexibility of their hips, hamstring, and inner thighs can do Upavistha Konasana. Runners can do this asana to add strength and flexibility to their fitness. Women having pain during the menstrual cycle can do this pose.

Who should not do it?

People with severe lower back and hamstring injuries should avoid doing it. Pregnant women should avoid doing it. People with any recent surgeries, slipped discs, or inflammatory arthritis should avoid doing it.

How to Do Upavistha Konasana?

Follow the Step-by-Step Instructions

Upavistha Konasana Stimulates the root and heart chakra. This is an intense stretching pose and improves your posture. Do the preparatory poses before starting Upavistha Konasana, like Childs pose, bound angle pose, butterfly pose, or Navasana.

  1. Sit comfortably on your sit bones on a yoga mat or any soft surface in the Dandasana (Staff Pose).
  2. Take a deep breath, straighten your back and legs, and prepare for the pose.
  3. Keep your legs wide, making an angle of 90 degrees or a V-shape, your pelvis at the center.
  4. Your toes should be pointing up, flexing your feet, keeping your sitting bones grounded, and press down your heels and feet flexed.
  5. Now exhale and lean forward (upper body folds forward) from your hips (not the waist), engaging your thighs.
  6. Now, bring your palms to the floor in front, walk your hands down to your legs (as much as you can), and bring down your torso between your legs towards the ground.
  7. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, lower your back a bit more (your chest forward to the floor) and remember to engage your core muscles.
  8. Be in the Upavistha Konasana (seated straddle pose) position for as long as possible, or 5 to 8 breaths.
  9. When you are ready to release, inhale, straighten you’re back, exhale, and straighten your legs, relax, and return to the Dandasana (staff pose) position of the Upavistha Konasana yoga pose.
  10. Relax and shake your legs.
  11. You can do the Reclining bound angle, seated wind release pose, or the Gomukhasana A for cooling down your nervous system.

What are the Benefits of Upavistha Konasana?

  • It brings flexibility and strengthens and tones your abs, hamstring muscles, legs, inner thighs, and the entire body.
  • It is very beneficial for your lower body; with regular practice, the seated straddle pose strengthens and prevents injuries to the lower part of your body.
  • People with a sedentary lifestyle, driving for long hours, can practice Upavistha Konasana and relieve the stiffness and tension in their lower back.
  • It can help burn calories and improve your metabolism.
  • It helps to reduce your belly fat and the extra fat in your hip, waist, and thighs.
  • When you practice Upavistha Konasana, your third eye gets activated, which helps to improve your concentration and awareness.
  • It helps to improve your digestive system by the pressure on your abdominal organs and relieves you from bloating and constipation.
  • Upavistha Konasana Wide-Angle Pose, forward bend helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves blood circulation to your brain, and improves cognitive function, which increases your creativity and productivity in your area.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Upavistha Konasana

  • Asthma: It can be helpful for people having Asthma. While you do the Upavistha Konasana pose, your upper body is stretched out, which may open the lungs and help in easy breathing.
  • Hot flashes: Upavistha Konasana can also help women with hot flashes during menopause.
  • Strength and Endurance: People looking to improve their muscle strength and flexibility should practice the Upavistha Konasana pose.
  • Pelvis health: Practicing Upavistha Konasana can be helpful for pelvic floor health. It can strengthen and tone your pelvic floor muscles, which helps manage issues like urinary incontinence.
  • Heart Health: The Upavistha Konasana pose can benefit your heart health by reducing the heart rate, boosting endurance, and improving the body’s ability to use oxygen during exercise.
  • Digestive Health: People with mild digestive issues can include this in their regular exercise routine to prevent bloating and constipation.
  • It strengthens your back muscles and improves your posture by keeping your spine straight.
  • This seated forward bend is helpful for sciatica and arthritis.
  • Upavistha Konasana pose can be helpful during the menstrual cycle and helps to relieve pain and cramps.

Safety and Precautions

  • Upavistha Konasana forward bends pose should be done in the morning, on an empty stomach, or in the evening (4 to 5 hours after the meal).
  • People with severe back or lower back pain should avoid the pose.
  • People with very high or low blood pressure should not do this asana or consult their doctor.
  • For Any recent surgeries, avoid doing Upavistha Konasana forward bend.
  • People with herniated discs should avoid the pose.
  • Avoid if you are pregnant.
  • If you have mild pain in the lower back, sit on a folded blanket or a cushion to keep the back straight.

Common Mistakes

  • Never do this Upavistha Konasana pose on an uneven or hard surface. Use the yoga mat or soft carpet.
  • Preparatory yoga poses, cooling down poses, and reclining bound-angle poses are mandatory.
  • Don’t overstretch your hamstring muscles.
  • Don’t hunch your back.
  • Beginners, don’t do the Upavistha Konasana pose on your own; do it under the guidance of your yoga teacher.
  • If you have any pain or dizziness while doing the Upavistha Konasana pose, just come out and relax.

Tips for Upavistha Konasana

  • Always do it on an empty stomach.
  • Make sure you do a warm-up and preparatory pose before starting the Upavistha Konasana pose.
  • After completing the Upavistha Konasana pose, cool down your nervous system with a cooling yoga pose.
  • If you have health concerns, consult your healthcare provider for better guidance.
  • Respect your body. Don’t compare yourself with others, and try to overstretch your body. This may end up harming your body.
  • Your kneecaps are pointing to the ceiling.
  • This pose demands you to keep your spine neutral and not curve it too much.

The Physical Alignment Principles for the Upavistha Konasana

  • Sit in the Dandasana with your back straight and legs straight in front of you.
  • Spread your legs outward in a V shape or 90 degrees, as much as possible.
  • Sit on your sitting bones for better stability.
  • When you fold forward forward, bend from your hip crease to avoid the curve in your back and keep you straight.
  • Toes pointing to the ceiling and flexing your feet.
  • Contract your muscles in your thighs.
  • Engage your core muscles.
  • When you breathe in, lengthen your spine and chest up.
  • When you exhale, open your body and chest toward the floor and with a straight back.
  • Every time you exhale, feel your chest lift, lengthening your spine and bend down deeper.
  • Your hands should be on the floor between the legs in front of you and should slowly walk down your hands as you bend to reach forward for a deeper bend with every exhale.
  • The neck should be in line with your spine.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose.
  • Listen to your body, stretch as far as you are comfortable, and gradually increase with regular practice.

Upavistha Konasana and Breath

  • Upavistha Konasana, seated wide angle pose, also known as Seated forward bend pose or seated straddle pose, is an asana with wide spread legs like a V or by maintaining the degrees angle ever is comfortable. Whichever angle you choose, breath will be your companion to get a deeper bend. The proper breath will maintain stability and better balance for a safe and comfortable pose.
  • When in the Danasana, you relax by taking deep, gentle breaths to set yourself. When you start the pose, take a deep breath, lengthen your spine, open your chest, and start engaging your core.
  • Now it’s the time to breathe out, bend from your hips, and come down to the floor, letting out all the stress and walking your hands on the ground in front of you with more confidence and strength. Again, inhale, and when you exhale, walk down your hands further and bend deeper, getting over your stress and anxiety, meeting the calmness, releasing the tension, and getting a stretch to your groin area and hamstring muscles and great flexibility to your inner thighs.
  • Keep breathing as you hold the pose, release all the stress and tension from your body, and adjust according to your comfort.

Upavistha Konasana and Variations

  • This is one of the variations – Urdhva Upavistha Konasana. Holding your toes with two fingers and tilting back.
  • Side seated angle pose, keeping legs wide apart and bending towards one leg.
  • Upavistha Konasana with props, like cushions and yoga blocks, to support your bend.
  • Upavistha Konasana B and Upavistha Konasana C variations.

Take Away

Upavistha Konasana helps to calm your body and mind. The wide-angle pose stimulates the root chakra and the heart chakra. This enhances your muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. It helps to enhance your mental productivity. This is especially helpful for your lower body. It improves your digestive functions and strengthens your pelvic floor health. Upavistha Konasana stretches your hamstring muscles and groins and the inner thighs. It rejuvenates your nervous system. Beginners should do this pose under the guidance of the yoga trainer.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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