Upavistha konasana, or wide angle seated forward fold, is a perfect illustration of why the balance between muscle relaxation and activation is so important in yoga. This deep hip opener is a great way to stretch the hamstrings. In Ashtanga yoga, it comes in the second half of the primary series.
Benefits of upavistha konasana
This pose doesn’t just stretch your inner thighs, groin, and hamstrings. It has other benefits as well including:
- calming the mind
- stretching shoulders
- opening the chest
- relieving fatigue
- energizing you
If you have any injuries in your knees, back, groin, or shoulders this pose might not be for you. If you are pregnant, this is also a pose to avoid.
How to do upavistha konasana (wide legged seated forward fold)
Start by sitting on the floor with your legs spread as far as your shoulder girdle will allow.
Reach forward and hold the outsides of your feet.
Inhale and lift your chest forward.
Suck your lower belly in and fold forward.
Pay attention to what’s going on in your lower back. Your lower back should be neutral. Don’t round it or overarch it.
Exhale and bring your chest toward the floor. Rest your chin on the floor.
Stay here for five breaths.
Watch this video with Kino for more detail about this pose.
Reach your thighs toward the ground.
Watch this video with Kino MacGregor for more details about doing this pose.
So there you have it, how to do upavistha konasana and all the benefits and contraindications to be aware of. I hope you give this pose a try on your mat soon.
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