[Pose Of the Week] Wide-Legged Seated Forward Bend Pose (Beginner)

Stretch and release your back, hamstrings, and more in Wide-Legged Seated Forward Bend Pose…

Wide-Legged Seated Forward Bend Pose (Upavistha Konasana) – also known as Wide-Legged Seated Forward Fold, Seated Straddle Fold, Seated Angle, or Seated Straddle – provides a deep and restorative stretch for the legs, back, and more. This seated yoga pose helps to stretch the hamstrings, calves, groin, pelvis, and spine while stimulating the kidneys and abdominal organs. It is thought to help with detoxification, digestion, and metabolism, and may help to relieve anxiety, fatigue, stress, and mild depression. This calming pose is also sometimes used therapeutically for arthritis and sciatica, and it helps to improve posture and mind-body awareness.

This pose is often used to prepare for other seated forward bends and hip-opening poses. While it is a fairly simple pose, that doesn’t mean it’s easy – particularly for those with tight hamstrings! It can take quite a while for these big muscles to release, so be patient with yourself, go slow, and don’t push it.

Those with back injuries should modify the pose by bending your knees, placing a rolled up towel or yoga mat behind your knees, or resting your torso on a bolster in front of you. You can also sit on a folded blanket to make the fold a little easier.

How to do Wide-Legged Seated Forward Bend Pose:

  1. Sit on the edge of a firm blanket or mat with your legs extended in front of you in Staff Pose (Dandasana).
  2. Place your hands on the floor behind your body and lean your torso back slightly. Then open your legs as wide as it is comfortable. Press your hands firmly into the floor and gently bring your buttocks forward along the floor, helping to widen the legs even further. Work toward opening your legs to a 90-degree angle (with the pelvis as the apex), or even wider.
  3. Keep the tops of your kneecaps and your toes pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Flex your feet and strongly engage your thigh muscles, pressing your legs down toward the floor. Reach out through your heels.
  4. With your spine long and straight, begin to walk your hands forward between your legs. Maintain the length of your front torso; do not let your back round. You might only walk your hands an inch or two forward, and that is fine.
  5. Continue to increase your forward bend until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, but do not push it too far. If your spine rounds or if you feel any pinching pain, ease up.
  6. As you come deeper into the pose, reach your arms to the sides and clasp your big toes by making a loop with your thumbs and first two fingers. Bend your elbows out to the sides. Keep the front of your torso long. Gaze forward and place your chin on the mat.
  7. Hold for up to three minutes. Gently walk your hands back toward your body, bringing your torso upright while keeping your spine long. Bend your knees and bring your legs back together in Staff Pose.
Read more tips at YogaOutlet.com


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