How To Do The Upavistha Konasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Sanskrit: उपविष्ठ कोणासन; Upavistha – Seated/Sitting, Kona – Angled, Asana – Posture; Pronounced As – oo-pah-VEESH-tah cone-AHS-anna

This asana is a good preparatory pose for most other seated bends and twists. This asana is also beneficial for the wide-legged standing poses. When you assume this pose, your legs are rooted in the earth and stretched, the spinal column is relaxed, and your brain is calmed. Take a look at what this incredible seated forward bend can do to you.

Everything You Need To Know About Upavistha Konasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Upavistha Konasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tips
  5. Advanced Pose Alterations
  6. The Benefits Of The Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
  7. The Science Behind The Upavistha Konasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested, and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.


Level: Intermediate
Style: Hatha Yoga
Duration: 30 to 60 seconds
Repetition: None
Stretches: Legs
Strengthens: Vertebral columns

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How To Do The Upavistha Konasana 

  1. To begin this asana, sit erect, and open up your legs such that they are at a 90-degree angle with your pelvis.
  1. Let your toes point up as your flex your feet and align your knees. You must feel a curve in your lower back. If you don’t, use a prop. Sit on a firm cushion. This will give your pelvis stability and allow it to tilt forward, apart from retaining that lower back curve.
  1. Place your palms on the floor, such that they are behind your hips.
  1. Inhale, long and deep, such that the sides of the body lift, thereby creating a space or hollow in the spine. Hold for a few seconds if you feel a good stretch in your legs at this point.
  1. Now supporting your lower back, and sucking your stomach in, exhale and fold. Gently move your hands in front of you.
  1. Use your breath as a guide to how much you can stretch, and stretch your spine as much as you can. Stop when you begin to feel uncomfortable. Breathe long and deep as you hold the pose for about a minute.
  1. Exhale and gently come back up. Bend your knees and pull your legs back together.

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Precautions And Contraindications

  1. Avoid doing this asana if you have a pull or tear in your groin or hamstring, or if you are pregnant, have an injury in the lower back, or a herniated disk.
  1. If you have pain in your lower back, sit on a blanket or a block while you do this asana.

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Beginner’s Tips

This asana is quite challenging for beginners. If you find it hard to bend forward, you could bend your knees gently. You could even use blankets to support your knees. You must move forward in the bend, and ensure your knee caps point upwards throughout the asana.

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Advanced Pose Alterations

If you want to intensify the stretch, you must take the position, and reach for your big toes (right to right and left to left) as you bend forward. Lock your fingers around the toes and pull on the big toe as you lean in. But as you do this, you must also push through the base of the toes to keep the outer and inner part of your ankles even. Bend your elbows on the sides, and lift them off the floor as your torso touches the ground.

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The Benefits Of The Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend

These are some amazing Upavistha Konasana benefits:

  1. This asana gives the insides and the back of the legs a good stretch.
  1. The abdominal organs are toned and stimulated.
  1. The spine becomes strong.
  1. The groin is released. The adductor muscles of the groin also get stretched.
  1. This asana relaxes your body and calms your brain.
  1. It helps to cure and relieve sciatica and arthritis.
  1. It also detoxifies the kidneys.
  1. Your hamstrings are stretched.
  1. Your core muscles are activated.

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The Science Behind The Upavistha Konasana

When you move into this intense stretch, your thoughts and emotions are stimulated too. Although this pose looks simple, the mental thoughts it triggers can be quite enlightening. They say that the conflict between who you really are and who you think you are is called egoism. This conflict often causes great suffering. But the best part is, this pain can be avoided. How? Well, doing a pose that is as hard as this, that urges you to go deeper and makes you aware of who you really are by how much you can push yourself, breaks the ego. You become humble and grounded as the physical and mental challenge of this asana drives you to break out of your prejudices. Move gently and attentively as you allow your mind and muscles to open up in the process.

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Preparatory Poses

Baddha Konasana
Prasarita Padottanasana
Supta Baddha Konasana
Supta Padangusthasana

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Follow-Up Poses

Baddha Konasana
Siddhasana or Sukhasana
Supta Padangusthasana

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Now that you know how to do Upavistha Konasana pose, what are you waiting for? Shed your ego, flex your muscles, calm your mind, and break all barriers with this challenging forward bend. Let this emotional and physically challenging experience make you a better person!

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer


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