Upavista Konasana Stage 2
(Seated Angle Pose)
This forward-extending pose comes from Upavista Konasana, Stage 1, explained in last week's column. It stretches the back of the legs and helps correct knee problems and keep back muscles toned and lengthened.
The forward extension of the spine should be balanced with the downward pressure of the legs, so that the trunk receives a steady, even stretch. This pose brings the mind into a quiet, meditative state and is great for reducing tension and anxiety.
1. Sit on an even surface in front of a chair.
2. Spread your legs wide apart, keeping a 70-degree angle between them. Slide the chair closer, between your legs. Keep your knees pointing straight up, the center of your heels anchoring your feet to the ground (see photo). 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.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Jackie Hoyseth, a registered nurse and Manoa Yoga Center student, demonstrates the use of a chair to maintain back length in Upavista Konasana, Stage 2.
4. Press your fingers into the floor and, as you press your legs down, lift your spine in and up. Sit evenly on the buttock bones with your back erect.
5. Keep your legs down as you reach up with your arms and extend your trunk forward. Rest your forehead on the chair seat, with your arms extending up the back rest of the chair. Do not let your legs roll in as you do this. Instead, roll your pelvis to lean forward and keep the back of the knees against the floor.
6. Press out through the balls of the feet, roll back onto the buttock bones and work to keep the backs of your legs extended and against the floor. Expand your chest and lift the sternum as you extend your arms to lengthen the sides of your waist. As you rest the head, let your brain become quiet and relax your neck. Hold this pose for about a minute, maintaining an awareness of your lifted spine and extended arms.
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.