Definition - What does Samakonasana mean?

Samakonasana is an advanced seated asana that requires considerable flexibility in the hips, groin and legs. The term is derived from the Sanskrit sama, meaning “straight,” kona, meaning “angle,” and asana, meaning "pose." The pose is a full split with the legs spread to the sides and the hands placed in prayer position in front of the heart center.

To enter the pose, begin sitting on the floor. Taking both legs out in a "V" position as wide as is comfortable, bring the palms together in from of the heart and the drishti to the floor between the feet. As the hips and groin stretch, the legs and feet can be brought mindfully further apart. Hold the pose for 60 seconds and then slowly bring the legs back together to exit the pose.

Samakonasana may also be referred to as a straddle split in English.

Yogapedia explains Samakonasana

Traditionally, samakonasana is believed to stimulate both the muladhara (root) and anahata (heart) chakras. Opening the muladhara chakra through samakonasana is grounding and provides inner stability and strength needed for personal growth. As the heart chakra is the center of love and compassion, opening this chakra promotes forgiveness and acceptance of both others and self.

The additional benefits of samakonasana include:

  • Improves blood circulation to the abdomen and reproductive organs
  • Stretches and straightens the spine while improving posture
  • Opens the hips and groin muscles

Samakonasana is also a term sometimes used for a standing posture known in English as right angle pose. In this version, the practitioner stands with feet together and raises the arms overhead, then bends forward until the hips form a 90-degree angle with the thighs and the body forms an “L” shape.

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