Stretch, balance, and strengthen in Upright Seated Angle Pose – a challenging seated balance pose that stretches the hamstrings, strengthens the core, and more…
Upright Seated Angle Pose (Urdhva Upavistha Konasana) – also known as Upward-Facing Wide Angle Pose, Spinal Column Pose or Merudandasana – is an intermediate-level yoga pose that requires a good bit of core strength and hamstring and hip flexibility to perform properly. This pose offers a great stretch for the spine, hamstrings, and thighs, while building strength in the core, legs, calves, and shoulders. It also improves balance and posture, and strengthens focus and concentration.
To modify the pose, you may practice extending one leg at a time, or practicing balancing with your knees bent. You can also gradually increase flexibility in this pose by starting out using yoga straps around the balls of the feet. Gradually shorten the strap length until you can hold your feet in the full pose. Beginners may also wish to place a bolster or block behind the hips for added support until you are comfortable balancing in the pose.
Be sure to keep your spine upright throughout the pose and avoid hunching or rolling your shoulders forward. Keep your knees slightly soft to avoid over-extending, and make sure your hamstrings and core are fully warmed up before performing this pose.
Those with tailbone, lower back, spine, knee, or shoulder injuries should avoid this pose.
How to Do Upright Seated Angle Pose:
- Start in Bound Angle Pose. Sit with the soles of your feet together and knees pressing down towards the mat.
- Wrap the first two fingers and thumb of the right hand around the right big toe.
- Start to extend the right leg straight and away from the body.
- Once steady, do the same on the left foot so both legs are extended in the air.
- Engage your core to balance.
- Engage the quads and pull the knee caps down the legs.
- You should be balancing on your tailbone with a straight, strong spine.
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