Upavista Konasana: Learn to Love Straddle

Upavista KonasanaIf you’re like me, you may know Upavista Konasana by a different name: ¬†Straddle. Straddle was one of my least favorite stretches in gym class. Often, after doing Straddle, I would have back pain, shoulder tension, and a huge feeling of ineptitude for not being able to kiss the floor.

I was surprised to discover that, when done correctly, Upavista Konsasana can actually help relieve low back tightness and pain. Plus, it helps reduce hamstring tightness and improves SI joint health.

The key to doing this pose correctly is to let your pelvis rotate to lower your torso.

Instead of trying to grab onto your legs and yank yourself down, rotate your pelvis. The more your pelvis rotates, the closer your torso will come to your legs without causing any injuries.

Upavista Konasana

  1. We will use ujjayi breathing.
  2. Begin in Dandasana. Make sure that you feel your SITs bones pressing into the ground beneath you.
  3. Draw your low belly to your spine.
  4. Soften your hip flexors, and lift through the top of your head.
  5. Open your legs as far as is comfortable.
  6. Use your hands to internally rotate your femurs. After you manually adjust one leg, connect through the back of that leg’s heel to help keep it in the correct place throughout the pose. Your feet should be flexed with your toes pointed up toward the ceiling. Manually adjust the other leg.
  7. Let your SITs bones pressing into the ground beneath you help you lift through the top of your head.
  8. Inhale to lengthen your spine.
  9. Exhale to hinge forward.
  10. Your hands may rest on your legs or on the floor in front of you. Resist the temptation to grip onto your legs and try to pull your upper body toward the floor.
  11. Your upper body will come closer to the floor as your pelvis rotates, lowering your spine. Try to keep your hip flexors soft to let your pelvis get a better rotation. Feel your SITs bones angle out and try to lift away from the floor behind you.
  12. Inhale to lengthen the spine and rotate the pelvis.
  13. Exhale to soften into the stretch.
  14. Hold for at least 5 breaths.

Upavista Konasana Video

How do you feel after following these directions for Upavista Konasana? Do they make a difference? Let us know in the comments below.

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Sarah Stockett is STOTT certified in Matwork, Reformer, Cadillac, Chair, & Barrels, Injuries & Special Populations, and CORE; a Yoga Alliance RYT-200; and has studied Active Isolated Stretching. When she is not trying to discover the best exercises to get rid of pain, she likes watching movies and travelling with her family.

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