This pose gives such a juicy stretch. It can be practiced anytime of day, but I really like this one for relieving tension and circulating energy at bedtime.
BENEFITS OF UPAVISTHA KONASANA:
stretches the inner thighs/groin
stretches the hamstrings
relieves mental stress
soothes the nervous system
promotes digestive health
circulates energy to the hips/pelvis and low back
benefits svadhisthana chakra
YOU CAN ALSO FIND THIS POSE IN THESE YOGA CLASSES.
Be seated on your mat with the legs outstretched in front of you. If this is your first time trying this pose, I’d recommend starting by taking the feet about as wide as the width of your yoga mat. The further apart your feet are, the more intense the stretch will be. Flex evenly through the feet so all ten toes are pointing up toward the ceiling. Sit up tall, lengthening the tailbone away from the crown of the head. If you’re already feeling a good stretch, you can stay right here, or you can begin to walk the hands forward. Be sure that as you fold, your spine stays tall. Gently tuck the chin to create length in the back of the neck. Hold for 10 deep breaths or longer, depending on your comfort.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:
the wider you take your feet, the more intense the stretch
flex the feet
keep the spine tall
tuck the chin
ADDING PROPS: CUSHION UNDER HIPS
It’s common to experience lower back tension in forward folds. Adding a folded blanket under your hips will help to keep the low back comfortable, and you may find that it allows you to fold more deeply. Make sure that you sit at the edge of the blanket so that only your sit bones are on top of it.
ADDING PROPS: BLOCKS OR WASHCLOTHS UNDER KNEES
Adding yoga blocks or rolled up washcloths under the knees is a good idea if you have tight hamstrings. If you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and are hypermobile, this is a great option too.
ADDING PROPS: BLOCK, BOLSTER OR CHAIR UNDER FOREHEAD
For a more restorative experience, you can add a prop under your forehead so that you can fold forward and rest deeply. This is very soothing for the nervous system and the third eye chakra.
If being upright isn’t an option for you, try doing this pose supine at the wall. This option may give you a more intense stretch since you’ll have gravity pulling on you.
If getting down to the floor isn’t possible, you can experience the inner thigh stretch of upavistha konasana seated in a chair. To start, sit at the edge of the chair with the feet flat on the floor. Take the knees wide. Bring the elbows to your inner thighs and press the palms together at heart center. This will create gentle pressure that will deepen the inner thigh stretch. Hold for ten deep breaths.
ALTERNATE POSE: BADDHA KONASANA
This pose offers similar benefits as Upavistha Konasana but without the hamstring stretch. You can choose to do this one upright (image above) or opt for the supine variation.
HOW DID IT GO?
If you tried any of these variations, I'd love to know how it went for you! Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #spoonieyogatribe in your photos for a chance to be featured on my page! Or post a photo in our private Facebook group to show off your progress! As a part of your membership, you can get personalized feedback on your poses.