Travis Eliot explores Spread Leg Forward Fold (Upavistha Konasana).
Spread leg forward fold is a powerful seated yoga posture. It effectively opens the hamstrings, stretches the inner thighs, and provides traction for the spine. This is a cooling and calming pose which is perfect at the end of a vigorous yoga practice or stressful day.
One of the biggest mistakes is when students attempt to jam their forehead to the floor, therefore rounding the back. Another common mistake is when the knees hyperextend by forcing the back of the knees into the floor.
- Begin by spreading the legs apart. Keep the legs active as the thighs firm and the feet flex.
- Keep the knees pointing straight up.
- Extend the torso forward keeping the spine straight.
- Extend the sternum forward as the chest opens.
- Students with back pain or limited flexibility can place a folded blanket under the sits bones.
Sometimes it can be helpful to reach the hands out and grab the feet. As you find your edge breathe deeply. Be patient and allow the medicine of the pose to work its magic. In the words of Lao Tzu: “Nature never hurries, yet everything is accomplished.”
Travis Eliot is a Los Angeles based yoga and meditation teacher (traviseliot.com)