Upavista Konasana / Seated Angle Pose

Benefits: This pose stretches the inner thighs, tones the legs, opens the hips, and stimulates the blood flow in the pelvic region.

Step by Step

1.  From Dandasana/Seated staff pose – sitting upright, spread the legs wide apart.  Press the back of the knees into the floor, ensure the knees and toes face straight up, rather than rolling in or out.

2.  Place the hands on the floor beside the hips.  Stretch the heels away from the hips to bring length to the back of the legs.  Lift the chest and roll the pelvis forward to increase the inward curve of the lower back.  Hold for a few breaths.

3.  Exhale, lean forward and catch the big toes with the index and middle fingers, keep arms straight (if you cannot reach your toes, use belts around the feet, or grasp higher up on the legs).

4.  The challenge is to keep lengthening the front of the torso.  Pull the navel in toward the spine with each inhalation.  Pull up strongly with the muscles of the front thighs.  Hold for a few more breaths.

5.  Exhale and extend the chest farther forward as you lower it down, bringing the forehead, or if possible, the chin and chest to the floor.  Breathe softly and steadily and be patient as you surrender deeply into the posture.

6.  To come out, bring your hands center, inhale look forward, gently lift the chest and walk your hands back towards the groin.  Then use your hands to support under your knees as you bring the legs back together.