Wide-Angle seated forward bend pose (Upavistha Konasana) is an intense leg stretching Yoga posture that is used in a variety of yoga styles.
Upavistha means “sitting,” “Kona” means “angle,” and “Asana” means “yoga posture.” An asana is a forward bending pose with leg stretching that is used in a variety of seated bend and twist asana.
The seated forward bends and twists, as well as wide-leg standing poses, are best practised in Upavistha Konasana.
How To Do The Upavistha Konasana
- Begin with the staff pose (Dandasana) with your legs outstretched in front of you and your back straight to come into Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend.
- Just slightly lean back and open your legs by 90°.
- Press on your hands and your thighs, and rotate your thighs externally so that your knees point up to heaven. Make sure you widen the legs 15 to 20 degrees further and the feet are flexed by pointing the toes forward. (If you can’t sit comfortably in this position, place a folded blanket under your thighs.)
- Then keep the backbone long, and start to bend between the legs. If possible, widen your hips as you bend.
- Stop bowing when your sternum is parallel to the floor. Enhance the front bend as long as you can on each exhalation until you don’t feel comfortable in the back.
- Place your hands in Namaskar Mudra between your legs.
- You should take the other position if you are comfortable. Just grab your feet with your hands (right-handed and left-handed), and bolt your fingers around your toes.
- Hold the pose for 1 minute or longer, breathing deeply and slowly.
- Then respire out and return to the original position slowly.
There are numerous advantages of performing this asana. Let’s have a check on a few of them.
Benefits Of The Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend:
- This asana stretches the insides and back of the legs.
- Tones and stimulates the abdominal organs.
- The spine is strengthened.
- The adductor muscles of the groyne also get stretched.
- This asana calms your brain and relaxes your body.
- It contributes to treating and alleviating sciatica and arthritis.
- The kidneys are detoxified as well.
- Stretch your hamstrings.
- Activate your core muscles.
Who Shouldn’t Exercise Upavistha Konasana?
Upavistha Konasana may be beneficial to your health, but there are some precautionary measures you need to take. Upavistha Konasana should not be done if you suffer from:
- Disc problem with hernia
- Groyne or hamstring tear
- Problems in hamstring, knee, & back
- If the lower back injury is present, keep your torso upright by sitting high on a folded blanket.
- Do not practice this asana during pregnancy.
- If you experience any pain or discomfort during practice, please leave the pose and seek expert’s advice.
Beginner’s Tip for Upavistha Konasana:
For beginners, Upavistha Konasana is a hard posture. Take a thick rolled blanket for a minor bending issue and hold it onto the ground before you. If you’re having trouble, you can bend your knees slightly. However, it is still important to keep the kneecap pointed to the ceiling.
Another form of upavistha konasana is Paschimottanasana. Let’s dig a little deeper about this yoga posture and its benefits as it comes from the same lineage of Upavistha konasana.
Paschimottanasana comes from Sanskrit words and it consists of three words: Paschima, which means West or Back, Uttana that means intense stretch, and Asana, which indicates a yoga pose.
POSH-ee-moh-tan-AHS-anna is how this yoga pose is pronounced. Seated Forward Bend, Intense Dorsal Stretch, Fierce or powerful pose, and Ugrasana are some of the other names for it. All body parts and organs benefit from Seated Forward Bend yoga. No doubt, this type of yoga is beneficial for weight loss.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana:
Before practising this asana, you need to ensure that your stomach and bowels are empty. Before you start asana, have your food at least 4 to 6 hours before you get digested and you can use enough energy for your workout.
Yoga should be done first thing in the morning, after you’ve done some other stretches. This forward fold doesn’t happen easily, and before trying asana, the body must be opened first. If you are unable to exercise in the morning, it is acceptable to do so in the evening.
How to Do Paschimottanasana:
- Sit on the floor and extend both legs outward.
- Toes should point forward and stay together.
- Inhaling, lift your arms and pull the body forward as far as possible.
- Exhale while bending forward.
- During the final step, the fingers are interlocked and the nose is supposed to meet the knees.
- First, do it for 5 seconds and try to stay as comfortable as you feel.
- Breathe in to get into the original position.
- This is the first round. Do two rounds at first.
- Depending on your level of practice, you can increase the number of repetitions and also the duration of holding the postures.
Benefits of Paschimottanasana:
- Spine: The asana provides appropriate tones and spinal lines for the spinal column and its related nerves, and one of its best yoga positions for health. It is therefore safe for the whole body for the spinal nerves.
- Belly Fat: One of the best yoga poses, it helps to effectively burn fat around the belly.
- Weight Loss: The whole body gets proper stretching especially the back of the body, which ultimately aids in losing the fat.
- Sexual Diseases: It helps in exercising the pelvic region effectively. Thus, it is beneficial for different sexual conditions like menopause, menstrual discomfort, etc. The asana provides a direct massage strengthening the pelvic muscles.
- Diabetes: The endocrine glands are appropriately massaged to release insulin, ensuring diabetes treatment and control.
- Flatulence and Constipation: This pose massages the abdominal organ, which eventually improves digestion and prevents constipation and bloating.
- Kidney: Improves the functioning of kidneys, and lowers the risk of hepatitis and diabetes.
- Stress: Paschimottanasana is known for the usefulness of harmonising body nerves and releasing stress. It is therefore quite effective in helping to create meditation states to relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Hamstrings: Improves the muscle strength of hamstrings.
- Appetite: The asana contributes in developing an appetite.
Beginner Tips For Paschimottanasana:
It is not an easy task to technically perform paschimottanasana correctly. It takes weeks and months to practise. However, one should not bend forward beyond a certain point, as this can result in severe back pain. Firstly, bend forward as far as you feel comfortable. You can perform paschimottanasana after improving flexibility in the back and firmness of the back muscle. However, you need to always take precautionary measures to avoid any complications resulting due to this yoga posture.
Precautions And Contraindications for Paschimottanasana:
In the following situations, Paschimottanasana should be avoided.
- Abdominal ulcer
- Back injury
- Slipped Disc
Preparatory Yoga Poses for Upavistha Konasana and Paschimottanasana:
Full and final, let’s check out the preparatory yoga poses that can be helpful to perform these yoga asanas quite easily.
Upavistha Konasana Preparatory Yoga Poses:
- Prasarita Padottanasana
- Baddha konasana
- Supta baddha konasana
Preparatory Yoga Poses For Paschimottanasana:
- Janu Sirsasana
- Yoga mudra