Wide-Angle Seated Side Bend Pose
Sanskrit: Parsva Upavistha Konasana
Image of Maggie Anderson taken by Maggie Anderson
Wide-Angle Seated Side Bend pose is a beautiful variation of the Wide-Angle Seated pose. This side bend variation increases flexibility, improve breathing and fee. As with many poses as you breathe and have a dedicated practice, you will notice yourself moving further into the pose.
This pose is fantastic for the side waists, arms, groin, hips, calves, thighs, knees, hamstrings and spine. This is a fantastic grounding pose.
Directions on how to come into the pose:
Come into a seated position. Extend your legs out in front of you. Then open your legs wide to either side (about 90 angle or as wide as you can go to make a partial triangle). You might feel like you are falling forward, so take a moment and place your hands behind you and inhaling lengthen your spine. We want good posture here. If you can’t sit comfortably on the floor, you may want to roll a blanket or mat to go under your sits bones. From here, be mindful of the knees. Be sure the knee caps are pointing upward toward the ceiling and especially as we bend. Use the thighs to reach outwards to assist with the knee caps. Flex your feet and press through the balls of your feet.
As you inhale, extend the spine and as you exhale bring your right hand behind your head bending at the elbow and pointing the elbow up toward the sky. Then reach for the left foot (either inside of the foot or the toes) side bending. Keep the heart open as you deepen the side bend and, if accessible, gaze up towards the sky. If you are extra flexible here, you may take your right arm and arch it over your head reaching for your foot. See where it feels right in your body today. Inhale and exhale surrender further into the pose. Hold and breathe. Hold for about one minute and then slowly come up with a straight back. Inhale and as you exhale move to the other side. Bend your knees and slide your legs in for a good counter pose, such as Baddha Konasana (or Butterfly Pose) or rock on your tailbone hugging the knees in towards your belly.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
If you have lower back injury be sure to sit up high on a blanket. It’s best not to side bend too much with lower back injury so keep your torso relatively upright.
Check out my calendar for group yoga classes dates and time.