Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Supported 1/2 Wide-Angle Pose - Upavistha Konasana

Enjoy Supported 1/2 Wide-Angle Forward Fold

1/2 Wide-Angle Pose looks very similar in set up to Head-to-Knee pose (Janu Sirsasana) as shown in the Yoga Journal image on the right, but instead of turning the torso to fold out over the leg, the body folds directly forward, hinging from the hips, as seen below. 1/2 Wide-Angle is easier on the inner thighs than the full version and can be used as a pose in its own right or as a warm up for Wide-Angle Pose.

Setting up for the pose:
Gather a number of different props: a chair, or a couple of blocks, or a few pillows/bolster, also, either a blanket for sitting on or else a wedge.

Coming into the pose:
Sit in front of your chair, block or bolsters with your legs open wide (about 90 degrees). Support your low back by sitting on a wedge or a folded blanket. Fold one leg in to the body so the soul rests on the inner thigh of the other leg and heel is drawing towards the perineum. Toes of the straight leg draw back toward the body and knee cap points toward the ceiling. Reach out through your heel. Hinge forward at the hip crease, walking your hands out and resting your forehead on the block, bolster or chair. If you are using a chair or bolster pile you can place your arms on the chair’s seat, hinge forward at the hip crease and rest your head on your forearms, keeping length in your spine.

While in the pose:
Keep breathing, keep observing the pose in your body, and allow the body to open at its own rate. Commit to the stillness but do allow yourself to adjust your props and your body as you settle deeper in. Watch the sit bones. They will want to creep up and often your body tries to tip more towards the folded leg. Don't let these two things happen.

Coming out of the pose:
To come up, support the torso with the hands on the floor, inhale and hinge or roll back up from the hips, protecting the spine. Take the 2nd side. After the second side you can be done or you could try the full version. Another nice follow-up pose is Bound Angle or Reclining Bound Angle.