Upavistha Konasana is good preparation for most of the seated forward bends, twists, and the wide-leg standing poses.
Wide Leg Seated Posture Variations - step by step
Move into Dandasana (Staff Pose).
Lean your trunk back slightly on your hands.
Lift and open your legs to an angle of about 90 degrees.
Rotate your thighs, so the knee caps and toes point straight up toward the ceiling.
Release the pubic bone down towards the floor a little, coming into an anterior tilt of the pelvis. If you find your back is rounding backwards, lift your sitbones on a block, or bend the knees a little and this will help you tilt forward and lift through the spine.
Root down through the sitbones and lift through the belly heart and crown.
Reach out through your heels, feel into the soles of your feet, spread your toes.
You could choose to stay in the upright position and focus on the lines of expression you send out through the legs, sitbones, crown and arms. Remember to keep breathing long and slow and deep, through the nose.
If you like you can start to tilt further forward, sliding your hands down the legs, or out across the floor in front of you. Keep your arms long. As with all forward bends, the initial emphasis is on hinging from the hip joints and keeping the back long. As soon as you find yourself bending from the waist, stop. Re-establish length from the pubis to the navel, and nudge forward a little further if it feels comfortable.
Deepen your forward fold a little on each exhalation, until you feel a comfortable stretch in the backs of your legs.
Stay in the pose a minute or longer.
Come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.
Why practice Wide Leg Seated Posture Variations?
Releases the insides and backs of the legs
Opens the groin
Lengthens the spine
Stimulates the abdominal organs
May relieve symptoms of arthritis and sciatica
If you have trouble folding forward, it’s fine to bend your knees slightly.
You can explore supporting your knees on a couple of rolled towels or blankets.
If you have lower-back issues, you can try sitting up high on a block or folded blanket and keeping your torso relatively upright.
Twisting in Upavista Konasana first will help you hinge forward more freely....
Hinging forward over each leg as well as through the centre will help you get a feel for how differences in your right and left sides may be affecting your movement. So that you can continue on, working with what is here in a helpful, intelligent way.
There are two main anatomical movements that can be seen to constitute a forward fold. It's really helpful to be clear about the difference between the two. The first - and main - movement is hip flexion - where you hinge at the hip joint. The backward motion of the sitbones tugs on the hamstrings. You cast the gaze forward reach the heart forward. It's all about the hip joint and lengthern ing the soine. If your hamstrings are open and allow you to hinge forward 45 degrees or so, the second movement we can explore is flexing the spine. At this stage your gaze casts down and you round the back, like a tortoiseshell. Gravity assists with this movement, so you can allow it to happen passively. Or you can actively draw the torso closer to the leg using your abdominal muscles. Either way, you may notice a lengthening, an opening, a release of the muscles of the back, from the sacrum to the topmost vertebra.
Don't rush into deeper movements before your body says 'go'. Remember we're sensing not performing. Your body, your yoga. Sitting with the legs wide and the knees a little bent is a great place to start your enquiries.
Super flexible yoga practitioners may bring their head and chest down to the ground in a full fold. A pleasant half way stage, if it's available to your body, is to hinge at the hips about 45 degrees, then prop yourself up on your forearms with the palms in Prayer Position (Anjali Mudra).
As you move into the forward bend, keep the knee caps pointing toward the ceiling.
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