Seated and Reclined Straddle Pose ‘Upavistha Konasana’- Practice, Benefits and Contraindications

Common Name(s)Straddle pose in English,  Upavistha Konasana in Sanskrit
MeridiansUrinary Bladder, Kidney and Liver 
ChakrasSacral Chakra, Root Chakra
ElementsWater and Earth 

Straddle pose is also called the Upavistha Konasana pose in English. The straddle pose is a sitting pose which is done with the forward bend and its variant is done with the reclining bend. When done with the forward bend, it is called the Upavistha Konasana in Sanskrit and the Seated Straddle Pose in English. When done with the reclining bend, it is called the Reclining Straddle Pose in English. 

The seated straddle pose is discussed here essentially. The meridians of the body affected by this pose are the Urinary Bladder, Kidney and Liver. When the sideways twist are introduced as its variants, then the Gall Bladder meridian is also activated. The joints affected by it are hips, lower back and knees. 

It seeks to activate, regulate and balance the Sacral and Root Chakras and the Pitta and Kapha doshas (as in Ayurveda). 


Contraindications of Reclined Straddle Pose ‘Upavistha Konasana’

Some of the important precautions which shall be taken note of which doing these asanas are the following…

1/3. The pose can increase the already existing condition of sciatica. Therefore, people with this problem shall avoid doing it. 

2/3. The hips have to rotate forward, not backward. This precaution shall be taken note of.

3/3. If there are issues with the spine, you shall not attempt to rotate it. Rather, it is good to keep it straight. 


How to get into The Straddle Pose?

1/5. Sit down on the floor with the legs kept straight and in front.

2/5. Spread out the legs in V formation right till the maximum point. Please note that the hamstrings or inner thighs should not be too stretched so as to cause discomfort.

3/5. The hands can remain outstretched along the stretched legs and the hold the thumb of feet or these can remain stretched along the floor. 

4/5. Tuck in the tummy and bend forward with the aim of touching the head on the floor. Do not over-exert yourself.

5/5. You can make use of the cushion beneath the hips in order to help these to rotate and move forward. 

It should be noted that in the correct pose, while bending forward, the ribs shall touch the floor first and the chin later on. If chin touches first and then the ribs, then the spine is curved and it needs to be straightened.

A variation of this pose is the reclining straddle pose in which the person lies down on the back/or balances on the hips, pulls up the legs at right angle to the floor and grasping the feet thumbs with hands, pull the legs apart to the extent possible. This is called the reclining straddle pose. 


How to come out of The Straddle Pose?

You can come out of the pose by simply getting up and sitting comfortably with legs brought forward in straight position. 

Push the floor with hands slowly and roll up the spine.

Lean back on the hand to release the hips. Go fo Paschimottanasana as it relaxes the stress caused to inner thighs and hamstrings.


Benefits of Upavistha Konasana Pose

Upavistha Konasana posture is a stretch pose with forward bending. This has benefits for different parts of our body, which are given below…

1/5. Muscular strength and stretch- this asana develops strength and flexibility in muscles of legs, arms, wrists, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, knees, upper abdomen and shoulders.

2/5. Good for spine: Due to stretch of muscles around spine, particularly in the lower back region of the body, strength and flexibility develops. 

3/5. It is also considered good for reproductive health of human beings as the pelvic area is massaged. It also helps stimulate the ovaries.

4/5. This is a hip opening exercise and also opens the groin and back of thighs.

5/5. This pose helps in ameliorating the effects of sciatica to a good extent.


How much time to give to Straddle Pose?

You should ideally give about 3 to 10 minutes depending on your level of comfort attained in this asana. 


Alternatives and other options…

If you are not able to perform the exact pose in first go, you might try out some of its variants which are easier and then gradually build up ability to perform it.

1/3. Use a bolster beneath the hip in order to help in forward movement of spine.

2/3. Instead of bending forward with head touching the floor, you can bend sideways and touch the knee of the legs. 

3/3. Ideally, legs shall make angle of 90 to120 degrees. It is not necessary to make a 180-degree stretch.


Counter pose to Straddle Pose

The counter poses of seated Straddle Pose is the Windshield Wipers pose or a cross-legged back bend in sitting position. 

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