Parsva Upavista Konasana
(Side-Seated Angle Pose)
This is a variation of the Upavista Konasana exercise shared last week. Here, the spine and sides of the trunk are flexed. Back stresses and strains are relieved, knees are strengthened and the back of the legs receive a good stretch.
1. Sit on an even surface with your hands behind the buttocks and legs straight.
2. Spread your legs apart to an angle of about 70 degrees. Keep your knees pointing straight up and rest your feet on the center of their heels. Do not let your legs roll in or out.
3. Stretch from your buttock bones to the heels and touch the back of your legs to the floor.
4. Press your fingers into the floor and your legs down, while lifting the spine in and up. Sit evenly on your buttock bones with your back erect. If your back slumps, sit on a folded blanket and lift your back in and up.
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Jackie Hoyseth, a registered nurse and a student at Manoa Yoga Center, demonstrates Parsva Upavista Konasana.
5. Keeping your legs down, reach with your right hand to catch the outside of your left foot. If this is too difficult, wrap a strap or rope around the foot and hold onto that.
6. Press out through the balls of your feet as you pull back with the right arm to lift your spine. Roll back onto the buttock bones and work to stay erect with the backs of your legs pressed to the floor. Expand your chest and lift the sternum as you turn your trunk to face over your left leg.
7. Notice how the sides of your torso become uneven. Work to lift the side of your body evenly so your shoulders are even. Hold this pose up to 30 seconds and repeat to the other side, bringing an increased range of movement into the spine each time.
8. If you cannot keep your back from rounding, use the strap or rope to hold your foot. Do not slump. Instead, lift your spine in and up as you turn. With practice, you will be able to maintain the lifted back as you evenly rotate the spinal region. Although it is harder to breathe in twisting asanas, do not hold your breath.
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.