Urdhva Upavishta Konasana
Upright Seated AngleLevel of Difficulty: Intermediate
1. From Bound Angle pose, grab the big toes with the middle and index finger of each hand or hold on to each foot with each hand.
2. Inhale and lean backwards to lift both heals an inch or two off of the floor.
3. Stare at a point on the floor for balance, keep the shoulders down and back with the chest pressing forward and up towards the ceiling.
4. Slowly inhale and kick the legs into the arms, straightening the legs and lifting them up and out towards the corners of the room.
5. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.
6. To release: slowly exhale bending the knees bringing the bottoms of the feet back together on the floor.Repeat on other side.
Benefits + Contraindications
Benefits: Upright Seated Angle improves balance, concentration and focus, opens the hips and stretches the backs of the legs.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the tailbone, knees, hips, arms, or shoulders.
Modifications + Variations
Modifications: A) Keep the knees slightly bent. B) Sit on a folded blanket.
Variations: An easier variation of this pose is Half Upright Seated Angle.
This pose is also know as Merudandasana / Balancing Bear pose.