By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Samakonasana, in this pose the practitioner assumes the straight angle in sitting position wherein both the legs are stretched to the sides so as to be in one straight line and hence the name.
Sama = straight / equal
Kona = angle
Asana = pose
It is also called as center split pose. The legs are split from the center to form a straight angle. This is an advanced seated pose and requires considerable flexibility in hips, groins and legs to perform it. This pose is a full split with legs spread to the sides. It is a deep hip opening yoga pose. It is also named as straddle split.
Related Video of deep straddle splits
Preparation for Samakonasana
- The ‘Equal Angle Pose’ shall be practiced early in the morning and also on empty stomach.
- If the pose is practiced at any other time other than morning, one shall eat food 3-4 hours before taking on to the pose. This will ensure to keep the stomach empty at the time of doing the pose and the food consumed would provide energy to perform the pose comfortably.
- One shall keep his or her bowel and bladder empty at the time of taking on to the practice of this pose.
Read – Yogasana – Spiritual, Physical And Mental Benefits, Classification
Method of doing
Positioning for the pose
- Sit in Dandasana – the staff pose. Keep your back straight. Your legs are straight and extended in front of you.
- Breathe easily.
- Getting into the pose.
- Slowly start to separate your legs towards either side. Make sure not to stretch beyond your capacity.
- Spread out (split) both legs in a ‘V’ position, as wide as you are comfortable doing it.
- Look straight or on the floor between your feet.
- You can bring your legs and feet further apart into a split as your hips and groins stretch.
- If your flexibility allows you, split legs till they are perfectly in one straight line. The legs are now at straight angle i.e. at 180 degrees. Each split leg is at right angle with your torso.
- You may keep hands in prayer posture right in front of chest / heart.
- Keep breathing in and out while holding the posture. Hold in the pose for 60 seconds.
- Repeat this pose for 4-5 times or for as many times you are comfortable doing it.
Release from the pose
- Gradually bring your legs to the front and stretch them in front of you.
- Now you have come back to the staff pose.
- Breathe easily and relax.
Read – How To Do Pranayama – A Simple Pranayama Technique
Samakonasana also describes a ‘standing posture’ known as right angle pose. It is believed to be a variant of straight angle pose.
How to do?
Stand in Tadasana. You may keep your legs together or keep your feet apart depending on how you feel comfortable.
While inhaling raise arms above the head, palms facing the front.
Lengthen your spine with inhalation. Press feet into the floor.
While exhaling, start bending forward. Your hips should protrude out, belly tucked in and lengthened and chest stretched out. Now bend forward until your torso is parallel to the floor and forms a right angle with your legs. Now your trunk and hands are parallel to the floor. Your head is in between arms and you are now looking at the floor. Your body is now in an ‘inverted L’ shape.
Keep in this position for half minute or for few deep breaths while breathing normally.
Release from the pose
- Raise your hands and torso up as you inhale and come up gradually.
- Bring your hands down.
- Stand in Tadasana and finish.
- Breathe freely and relax.
Modification – You may keep your legs apart if you feel difficult keeping them together.
- It stretches and strengthens muscles of inner thighs, upper thighs, hips and muscles of pelvic floor. These strong and flexible muscles of the lower body in turn support the spine and upper body. The pose teaches you to be aware of the muscles that are tight, flexible and stretched while coordinating the breathing process.
- Releases tension accumulated in the hips and psoas muscles, makes your body stronger and hence encourages self confidence and teaches self control.
- It bestows great flexibility in leg joints, ankle, and back and lower back.
- It is also a great posture for hips and hamstrings. It stimulates and tones up hamstrings.
- The pose benefits the quadriceps and hip muscles and hence can be included in Yoga sequences involving these muscles.
- It facilitates the legs and hip rotators, stimulates the inner thigh muscles, stretches and straightens the spine and also improves your posture
- Provides cure for spinal problems
- Relieve pain in hip joints
- It stretches and relaxes the muscles which are tensed, makes them flexible
- Stretches your hip muscles and groin and opens up the muscles of your hips and groins
- Opens up, strengthens and stretches groins, hips and calves
- Strengthens hip joints and joints of your lower back
- Reduces pain in hip joints and provides relief from neck pain
- Helps athletes, dancers and gymnasts since it forms an effective warm up for your hips and legs
- Helps increase blood circulation in abdomen and reproductive organs
- It rejuvenates and revitalizes body
- Helps in enhancing digestive functions and digestion capacity
- Relieves stress, calms the mind and provides good mental health and balance
- Good for those who are suffering from depression
- Boosts up and balances your hormones
Read – Upavistha Konasana – How to do, Health Benefits, Precautions
- Sukhasana – easy pose
- Balasana – child pose
- Gomukhasana – cow face pose
- Siddhasana – accomplished pose
- Tirtali Asana – butterfly pose
- Garudasana – eagle pose
Time spent in doing Samakonasana?
Hold the pose for few deep breaths or for half to one minute time.
Impact on Chakras
This pose mainly opens up and stimulates both ‘Muladhara Chakra – Root Chakra’ and ‘Anahata Chakra – Heart Chakra’. Opening up of the root chakra provides you the inner stability and strength needed for personal growth. Opening of heart chakra opens up the feeling of love and compassion in you. It also promotes forgiveness and your ability to openness to accept yourself and others. It is also said to activate and stimulate Swadishtana Chakra – the sacral chakra and Manipura Chakra – the navel chakra or solar plexus.
Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Equal Angle Pose – Samakonasana –
- Severe back pain and injury
- Problems related to your legs
- Slip disc
- Those recovering from surgery to any internal organs, hips, knee or spine
- Those having injuries of the hips, knees, spine or wear and tear of abdominal muscles, hamstrings, quads, gluteus and psoas or those recovering from the injuries therein
- Slip disc or sciatica
Pregnant women should avoid this pose
Those who have had recent surgeries should avoid this pose or perform under professional guidance of an expert Yoga instructor
Impact on doshas and tissues
Impact on Doshas and its subtypes – It enhances digestive functions and capacity and is thus helpful in balancing the gut doshas i.e. samana vata, pachaka pitta and kledaka kapha. It is good for the health of reproductive system and hence is effective in balancing apana vata functions. Since it rejuvenates and revitalizes your body and boosts up your hormones, it is good for health of vyana vata and all vata subtypes. The pose helps in strengthening and stretching your joints and keeps them flexible and is thus helpful to balance the shleshaka kapha functions. Since it calms the mind, relieves stress and depression it is good to balance the prana vata, sadhaka pitta and tarpaka kapha and also to balance the raja and tama qualities of the mind. The pose is mainly said to balance the Kapha dosha and also the related element, the earth element.
Impact on tissues – The equal angle pose stretches and strengthens the muscles and makes them flexible. It is therefore effective in keeping the muscles healthy and is also good for the channels of transportation of muscle tissue. Since it is beneficial for the health of reproductive tissue it is good for the health of semen and sperms, for health and balance of menstrual blood and ovum. The pose increases blood circulation and is hence good for the blood tissue and channels of transportation of rasa tissue.