The wide angled seated forward bend is a challenging, yet satisfying stretch for both the legs and spine. Usually, this pose is used at the end of a class, due to how deep the bend is. Your body needs to be warmed up and thoroughly prepared for it.
Sanskrit Name: Upavistha Konasana
How to do:
Ardha Chandrasana is perfect for opening up your hips and inner thighs. It requires flexibility and strength in your legs and torso. It’s crucial to note that if you're a beginner, and feel you're using too much force, you could end up injuring yourself.
It’s best to attempt this pose towards the end of your yoga session. This way, your body will have warmed up, and it won’t be as much of a shock to the system. Take it slow and steady and use your mind just as much as your body.
This pose isn’t all about stretching out and lengthening your hamstrings, calves, spine, pelvis and groin. It’s also used to calm the mind and promotes de-stressing and rejuvenation. If you find yourself feeling the opposite of this because you’re trying hard to fit into the pose, then release the pose, take a deep breath, and slowly return into the pose, but this time, don’t go as deep as you did before. It isn’t about how deep you stretch. Just get yourself where you feel comfortable.
You may find your hamstrings are tight to begin with. If so, bend your knees slightly. Alternatively, use a rolled up yoga mat underneath your knees. This will ease you into the move, without the added pressure of possibly sustaining an injury to your hamstrings.
If you’re having difficulty with your torso being brought forward to the floor, grab a bolster and use this as a prop. Place it in front of you, in-between your legs. Lead with your heart.
This pose can help people who suffer from sciatica, as well as arthritis. It’s important to ensure if you do suffer from these ailments, that you’re prepared and confident in doing this pose as you don’t want to put yourself at risk of developing your injury any further. It can also be used when trying to detoxify the kidneys.
This can be an ambitious pose, therefore those who have a lower back injury should be cautious when attempting it. You can use a folded blanket to sit on top of to make your torso as upright as possible, which will give you more support.