(Seated Wide-Angle Pose)
This pose stretches the back of the legs and helps correct knee problems. In this stage the body is kept upright. This pose requires us to coordinate arm and leg actions to lift the spine against gravity. By doing so, we invigorate the mind, tone the muscles of the spine and stretch the legs.
1. Sit on an even surface with your hands behind the buttocks and legs straight out.
2. Spread your legs wide apart. The angle between the legs should be about 70 degrees. Keep your knees pointing straight up and be on the center of the heels. Do not let your legs roll in or out.
3. Stretch from the buttock bones to the heels and bring the back of your legs to touch the floor.
4. Press your fingers into the floor and, as you press your legs down, lift the spine in and up. Sit evenly on your buttock bones with your back erect.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Shelley Choy demonstrates use of belts to keep the chest lifted in Upavista Konasana.
5. Keep your legs down as you reach forward and catch your big toes with your first two fingers. Pay attention to avoid letting the legs roll in as you do this. Instead, roll the pelvis to lean forward and keep the back of your knees against the floor.
6. Press out through the balls of your feet as you pull back with the arms to lift the spine in and up. Roll back onto the buttock bones and work to sustain an erect position. Expand your chest and lift the sternum as you look up, keeping your neck and eyes soft. Hold for up to 30 seconds and repeat, bringing an increased range of movement into the spine each time.
7. If you cannot keep your back from rounding, use straps to hold your feet (see photo). With practice, you will be able to keep your back lifted while holding your big toes.
Next week: Stage 2, in which the trunk extends forward.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.