Upavista means upright or seated. Kona means angle. This asana can be directly translated to Seated Angle pose. This pose is a good preparatory posture for most seated forward bends and twists.
Benefits of Upavista Konasana
- Develops strength in the legs and core.
- Stretches and stabilizes the hips and pelvis.
- Teaches us to lengthen through the waist.
- If you tend to round your back excessively in this posture (or you suffer from lower back pain and tight hamstrings) it is important to use modifications.
- Take a gentle approach if you suffer from sciatica.
- Avoid if you suffer from groin injury.
- Start in a seated position.
- Bring your legs apart as far as is comfortable.
- Lift the heart and lengthen the spine.
- Engage your quadriceps and draw your kneecaps up as you lengthen through your heels.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine. Hinge forward from the hip crease. Maintain as neutral a spinal position as possible.
- Feel the opening of your vertebrae on the back side of your body and breathe into these spaces.
- Hold onto your shins or (if your flexibility allows for it) your big toes with your pointer and middle finger.
- Pull your toes gently with your fingers bringing the body forward on an angle.
- As your deep abdominal muscles wrap around your waist, feel your internal organs relax into this support.
- Press the backs of your legs and your heels into the earth, feeling warm, grounding earth energy. Stretch equally on the inner and outer edges of the legs.
- Press the hands into the mat and exhale to gently lift the body up. Draw in one leg at a time.