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Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upright Seated Angle Pose): Steps, Variation & Benefits

Picture this: you're seated on the floor, your legs spread wide open, and your upper body reaches towards the heavens. That's Urdhva Upavistha Konasana for you! This pose, as the name suggests, is all about elongating the spine while seated. It's like a radiant beam of energy flowing through you, uplifting your spirits and providing a rejuvenating experience.

Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upright Seated Angle Pose)

"Urdhva" means upward, "Upavistha" translates to seated, and "Konasana" refers to angle pose. When you put it all together, you have a posture that's all about opening yourself up to the universe while firmly grounded in your seated position. Pronounced as "OORD-vah oo-pah-VEESH-tah koh-NAH-suh-nuh," the name itself carries a sense of expansion and grace.


This pose doesn't just look cool; it also engages a symphony of muscles. You'll feel a stretch in your inner thighs, hamstrings, and groins. And don't forget about your spine—it lengthens beautifully. Plus, your core gets in on the action, maintaining balance and stability.


How to Perform Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upright Seated Angle Pose)

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs spread as wide as comfortably possible.

  2. Flex your feet, pressing through your heels.

  3. Inhale, elongate your spine and exhale as you hinge forward at your hips. Reach your hands toward your feet.

  4. Imagine your heart reaching forward and upward, creating that lovely upward angle.

  5. Find a position where you feel a good stretch but not strain.

  6. Breathe deeply, holding the pose for your chosen duration.

  7. Inhale as you come up, engaging your core and lifting with a flat back.

Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Upright Seated Angle Pose)

When to Do It

Urdhva Upavistha Konasana can be a great addition to your yoga routine. It's a fantastic way to start your day, as it helps awaken your body and mind. You can also practice it as a soothing evening ritual, releasing the tension of the day and preparing for a peaceful night's sleep.


Preparatory Poses

Before diving into this expansive pose, consider warming up with poses like:

  • Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)

  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)

These poses prepare your hips, groins, and hamstrings for the delightful stretch of Urdhva Upavistha Konasana.


Follow-Up Poses

To keep the energy flowing, consider moving into poses like:

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)

After you've soaked in the benefits of Urdhva Upavistha Konasana.


Chakra

Urdhva Upavistha Konasana beautifully aligns with the Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana), the energy center associated with creativity, emotions, and sensuality. As you open up through your hips and lower abdomen, you're nurturing the energy flow in this vital chakra.

 Sacral Chakra (Svadhisthana)

Mantra for This Pose

As you settle into this pose, you might want to repeat the mantra,

"I am open to the wisdom and abundance of the universe."

Let these words infuse your practice with intention and positivity.


Alignment Cues

  • Keep your spine elongated, avoiding any rounding.

  • Engage your core to support your back and maintain balance.

  • Press through your heels to activate your leg muscles.

  • Reach your heart forward as you gently fold, finding that uplifting angle.

Duration of Hold or Drishti

Hold the pose for about 5-10 deep breaths, gradually increasing the time as your body becomes more comfortable. As for your drishti (gaze), focus on a point in front of you as you fold forward. This helps maintain balance and concentration.


Physical & Spiritual Awareness

As your body stretches, pay attention to the sensations—where do you feel the most intensity? Also, notice your breath. With each inhale, imagine you're drawing in vitality, and with each exhale, let go of any tension or negativity.


Beginners' Tips

If you're new to this pose, don't worry if you can't touch the floor with your hands. Use yoga blocks or cushions to support yourself. The key is to feel the stretch without straining.


Who Should Not Do It

Pregnant yogis should approach this pose with caution. If you have a hamstring or groin injury, it's best to consult your healthcare provider or a certified yoga instructor before attempting Urdhva Upavistha Konasana.


Who Should Do It

If you're looking to embrace a sense of openness, both physically and emotionally, this pose is calling your name. It's suitable for practitioners of various levels, inviting them to explore their boundaries gently.


Benefits of Urdhva Upavistha Konasana

  • Stretches and strengthens inner thighs, hamstrings, and groins.

  • Opens up hips and pelvis, promoting flexibility.

  • Improves posture and alignment of the spine.

  • Engages core muscles, enhancing stability.

  • Invites a sense of expansion and vitality.

Variation

Ardha Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Half Upright Seated Angle Pose)


"Ardha" means half, "Urdhva" is upward, "Upavistha" stands for seated, and "Konasana" is an angled pose. In this pose, you're sitting and opening up halfway, embracing the stretch that reaches upwards. It's a bit like opening a treasure chest in your hips and spine.

As you ease into it, you're giving love to your inner thighs, hip flexors, and groins. The spine gets a juicy twist, and your core plays a supportive role. Talk about teamwork!

Ardha Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Half Upright Seated Angle Pose)

How to Perform Ardha Urdhva Upavistha Konasana (Half Upright Seated Angle Pose)

  1. Start seated with legs spread out comfortably, toes pointing up.

  2. Bend your right knee and bring your foot to the inside of your left thigh.

  3. Inhale, lift your left arm up, and as you exhale, twist your torso towards the right.

  4. Gently reach your right arm towards your left foot, or as far as you can reach comfortably.

  5. Keep your spine tall, and imagine you're creating space between each vertebra.

  6. Breathe deep and hold this embrace for a few breaths.

  7. Inhale, unwind your twist, and switch sides.

Remember, it's not about how deep you go, but how you feel in the stretch.

For a gentler version, keep a slight bend in your knees. To intensify the stretch, reach your hands forward and beyond your feet. Remember, yoga is all about honoring your body's needs—so listen to what it's telling you.


Modification

If you're looking to fine-tune your practice, here are some nifty modifications to make this pose your own!

1. Block Support: If your hands can't comfortably reach the floor in this wide-legged fold, no worries! Grab a couple of yoga blocks and place them under your hands. This way, you can maintain the integrity of the pose while giving yourself a little lift.

2. Micro-Bend in Knees: If your hamstrings are sending you a "hold on a sec" signal, listen to them. Gently bend your knees just a touch to ease the tension. This way, you're still getting the benefits of the pose without overwhelming your hamstrings.

3. Soften the Angle: The angle of your legs doesn't need to be super wide. Find a width that works for you, where you can experience the stretch while staying comfortable. It's about finding your own version of the pose, not trying to fit into a cookie-cutter shape.

4. Chair Assisted: If you're dealing with knee issues or need extra stability, grab a sturdy chair. Sit on the edge with your legs spread, and lean your upper body forward, resting your hands on the chair seat. This offers a more accessible variation of the pose.

5. Wall Hug: If the balance is giving you a run for your money, stand next to a wall. As you fold forward, let one hand rest gently on the wall for support. This helps you focus on the stretch without worrying about tipping over.

6. Wall as Guide: If touching your toes feels like a distant dream, let the wall guide you. Stand close to the wall and fold forward, using the wall as a marker. With time, you might find that your flexibility increases, and you can venture a bit further.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid rounding your back, which can strain your spine. Don't force your legs wider than what's comfortable, as this can lead to injury. And most importantly, don't rush; this pose is about finding your balance, both physically and mentally.


Safety and Precautions

As with any yoga practice, it's crucial to respect your body's limits. If you experience pain or discomfort, back off and modify the pose. And of course, if you have any existing medical conditions, have a chat with your healthcare provider before incorporating Urdhva Upavistha Konasana into your routine.


Additional Preparation Tips

  • Direction to Face: While practicing Urdhva Upavistha Konasana, face towards the east. The East is associated with new beginnings and fresh energy, aligning perfectly with the uplifting nature of this pose.

  • What to Wear: Opt for comfortable, stretchy clothing that allows you to move freely. Avoid anything too tight or restrictive.

  • Suitable Place and Essential Oil: Find a quiet, clutter-free space where you can fully immerse yourself in the practice. Consider using essential oils like lavender or bergamot to create a calming atmosphere.

  • Music for This Pose: Choose soft, instrumental music that helps you unwind and connect with your breath. The aim is to create a harmonious environment that complements the serenity of the pose.

So, there you have it—your guide to embracing the radiant vibes of Urdhva Upavistha Konasana. Remember, yoga isn't just about touching your toes; it's about what you learn on the way down. Each time you step onto the mat, you're embarking on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Enjoy the stretch, embrace the expansion, and let your inner light shine!


Happy yoga-ing, everyone!

Namaste!



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About the Author

Namaste! My name is Pooja Chauhan

I am a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher and a practitioner. Diving deep into the realm of my own heritage to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing my culture with the world.

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