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K O N A S A N A O R P A R C H V A T A N A S A N A
The name of this asana comes from "parchva" and "tan", meaning to stretch. In the northern India this asana is named Konasana, from "kona" meaning angle, resulting "the angle asana".
THE TECHNIQUE ITSELF
THE STARTING POSITION
Begin standing up, soles spread 60-80 cm.
THE LEFT SIDE
Bring your hands behind your back, and firmly stick your palms together, place your hands in between the blade bones, in the area of the spine with the fingers pointing upwards.
If you cannot do this in the beginning, because the articulations of the shoulders are stiff, simply bring your hands together on your back.
This is the position for Konasana because it straightens the spine and it limits the bending of the dorsal area. In this asana, the flexion is located in the lumbar area. Rotate your trunk and your left leg towards the left, at 90 degrees. Look straight ahead.
ENTERING THE POSE
Keeping the spine straight and the gaze towards the front, bend your trunk over to the front. The movement should start from the sacral area, because thus the curve of the back will be transmitted progressively from the lower part to the upper, and not vice versa.
This recommendation is highly important. Bring the chin as closely as possible to the leg, in an attempt to place it on the knee.
Exhale slowly and deeply, one time only, while you lower your trunk so that your chin reaches the knee.
KEEPING THE POSE
When the chin reached the lowest point on the left leg, remain still and breathe deeply, focusing on the exhalation, which at this time you will perform by contracting the abdominal musculature.
The inhalation and exhalation will be performed both by partially closing the glottis. During this interval of stillness, try to push your chin (not your nose) as low as possible on your leg, in order to enhance the stretching of the spine.
The goal of this asana is to stretch the spine, not curve it. Bending over to the front accentuates the stretching of the back, and of the inter-costal spaces. Keep the legs stretched.
COMING BACK TO THE INITIAL POSE
This is achieved in the reverse order from that presented when entering the pose, by redressing the spine from its upper part to its lowest, and relating this upward movement with the inhalation.
FOCUS WHILE PERFORMING KONASANA ON THE LEFT SIDE
While performing this asana, focus on the stretch of the spine. The mind needs to follow the uncoiling of the spine, vertebra by vertebra, starting from the area of the sacrum. Focus also on the abdominal area.
Perceive the tellurian energies coming up your legs and their accumulation in Muladhara Chakra. Perceive the activity of the subtle center of force, Muladhara Chakra in its receptive aspect and enhanced vitality.
Simultaneously, perceive the activation of Anahata Chakra, the awakening of the affective capacities, and the harmonization of the affective level with the vital level.
THE RIGHT SIDE
Perform Konasana on the right side as described above, with the specification that the trunk will rotate to the right, together with the right leg.
ENTERING THE POSE
In this case, the difference consists in bringing the chin closer to the right knee. Keeping the pose and coming out of the pose are identical with what we described above.
FOCUS WHILE PERFORMING KONASANA ON THE RIGHT SIDE
Unlike the perception of the energies on the left side, this time you will perceive the activation of Muladhara Chakra in its emissive aspect.
This asana has all the effects of Paschimottanasana, to which there are added the stretch of the inter-costal spaces and the beneficial action on the thighs. The stretching of the muscles of the legs helps a pefect execution of Paschimottanasana.
This pose stretches the inter-costal and the abdominal muscles.
Konasana has beneficial effects on the joints of the shoulders, yet the most important effects are on the joints of the thighs. At the same time, the legs and joints of the legs are greatly energized.
During the stretching movement the nervous ends starting from the spine are greatly stimulated. This asana has beneficial effects in the cases of sciatic problems, and even lordosis.
THE ABDOMINAL ORGANS
During the still stage of the asana, if you follow the instructions regarding the profound exhalation, and the contraction of the abdominal muscles, the entire area of the abdomen will be massaged.
This asana enhances the thorax and brings the ribs to a correct angle with the spine. Konasana is a perfect exercise of preparation for pranayama, as it helps the ribs regain their mobility.