Upavistha Konasana A

Upavistha Konasana A

  • Upavistha: Seated
  • Kona: Angle
  • Asana: Pose

Upavistha Konasana A is the twenty-fifth pose of the primary series, and the twentieth seated pose.

While both this pose and Baddha Konasana focus on the area of the groin/inner thigh, the position of the legs emphasizes the length of the hamstrings, unlike Baddha Konasana. Specifically, semimembranosus, one of the three hamstring muscles, is lengthened, unlike a forward fold such as Paschimottanasana which is more likely to involve the other hamstring muscles.


This pose largely follows the same pattern as other forward folding asana. The main difference in action is that both legs externally rotate. There can be a tendency as you fold forward for the feet to turn, too, so that the medial side of the feet comes towards or touches the ground and the foot becomes parallel to the ground. Instead, externally rotate enough that the toes point straight up to the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor.

As the fold deepens, the first part of the upper body that touches the floor would be the ribs. Secondly, the chin can lightly touch down. If the head touches down first, but there is space between the chest and the floor, the spine is in too much flexion.

The angle of the legs is between 90-120° as feels best to you. The point is not to bring your legs as wide as you can. Indeed, if you take the feet too wide you will be unable to reach the feet.

Principles of Forward Folding:

Vinyasa of the Pose

From Sat, jump through and land in Dandasana.

Inhaling, bring the legs to a 90-120° angle.

Exhale, fold forward enough to grasp the big toes or the outer edges of the feet.

Inhale, lengthen and reset, reaching the heart through the arms. Spread the toes wide and press the feet into the hands.

Exhale, fold forward fully. Gaze down the length of the nose. Try to lengthen the spine and fold crisply, so that the belly and ribs come to the floor before the head.  Spend 5 cycles of breath here; this is the state of the asana.

Upavistha Konasana

Inhale, transition to Upavistha Konasana B.*

*Typically one lifts straight up into this next asana without an intervening vinyasa.


Struggle is not necessary; find the comfortable point of leverage to work from. If your back is rounded, or you feel as if you’re falling or rolling backwards rather than folding forward, take your hands a small distance behind you. Press your palms into the ground firmly and lean back slightly; lift the heart towards the ceiling. Focus on lengthening the belly and pressing the sitting bones firmly down into the ground.

You will be much better served by starting to find how the pelvis moves, and creating length in the low belly and groin, than in slumping forward. Not only is struggling to fold forward with very tight muscles likely to feel uncomfortable or restrictive, it only serves to reinforce negative patterns of posture and alignment. Back off to the point at which you feel like you feel upright and comfortable. As you gain mobility, only fold forward to the point that you can maintain this sense of length in the front mid-line of the body.

Practice rolling the hips forward and back (anterior and posterior tilt) so that you can feel the difference; after a few times, tilt the hips as far forward as you can, coming into a gentle backbend.

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