September Pose of the Month
Upavistha (Seated) Kona (Angle) Asana (Pose)
September brings a more calming pose than August. It was requested that I do a seated or lying down pose for September (you know who you are .... KAthy!) But I do aim to please and I think its a perfectly reasonable request. Upavistha Konasana like most forward bends are calming and grounding which is exactly what is needed for Back to School Season.
Upavistha Konasana helps to prepare the body for other seated forward bends and twists and are very often done towards the end of a vinyasa class. It is also beneficial to do it at the beginning of class as it helps to prepare for all the wide legged standing poses.
Most asanas require a balance between activation and relaxation and this is the perfect pose to begin to understand that principle. Your legs need to be actively engaged rooting down towards the earth, stretching adductors (inner thighs) and hamstrings, while at the same time breathing into all the stuck, tight areas of your body, this relaxing and surrendering to your breath allows your mind and brain to soften. Therefore practicing Upavistha Konasana on a regular basis can help to keep your spine and hamstrings supple and your mind serene and peaceful.
ENERGETIC AND EMOTIONAL BENEFITS
Stretches and strengthens all of the legs
Helps strengthen and tone the abdominal organs
Increases flexibility and strength of the spine
Releases the groin and stretches the adductor muscles
Stimulates the kidneys which helps to improve the body's ability to remove toxins
Improves digestion and metabolism
Can provide relief from anxiety and MILD depression
Good if you are feeling fatigued
Can be helpful for arthritic pain
CAUTIONS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS
HINTS AND TIPS
.Sit on a blanket or low block if you hamstrings or lower back prevent you from sitting tall in the spine
Be patient, try not to compromise your posture or technique just to get closer to the floor
Keep front of the spine long
Fold forward from the hip crease not the lower back
Bend knees slightly if needed esp if you feel an intense pull on the inner knees, in that case back of a little
Keep the legs strong and engaged so the back can find some softness
It can be nice to close your eyes to encourage the brain to switch off