EXTENDED SIDE ANGLE POSE

Utthita Parsvakonasana is commonly referred to as extended side angle pose. This asana is a wonderful pose where you feel the power of the body extending outwards and upwards. Utthita Parsvakonasana stretches almost the entire body from the shoulders and chest, all the way down through your legs. Enjoy the full body stretch and strength that Utthita Parsvakonasana provides! Let’s walk through the how-to steps together.

Begin in Samasthi position.

(1) Ekam - Inhale - Jump to right, arms out to sides, left heels slightly turned in.

(2) Dve - Exhale - Bend right knee over right ankle and extend right arm out as far as possible before placing it on the floor directly outside of right foot. Launch the left arm over the head, extending it as far as possible while keeping the arm straight.

Hold the posture and breathe for 5 breaths.

(3) Trini - Inhale - Come up slowly

(4) Chatvari - Exhale - Down to the other side.

Hold the posture and breathe for 5 breaths.

(5) Pancha - Inhale - Come up slowly.

The eyegaze, dristi, is Hastagrai (hand).

Tips for Successfully Completing Utthita Parsvakonasana:

Make sure you keep your pelvis tucked in and you have your chest opened towards the ceiling. Press the right knee with the right arm and push the floor with your back foot. This counter pressure will help improve balance and stability. Feet should be a little more than a meter apart and your heels should be aligned. The bent knee should keep the front thigh parallel to the ground, the bent leg at a right angle. It’s important to note that the knee will not be at a perfect right angle in the beginning due to tight hips. It will just be slight over a right angle. With time, one can achieve a perfect right angle. When reaching your arm over the head, make sure your shoulder is pushed away from your ear, so you are releasing the tension in your neck and shoulders. Make sure you are creating as much length as possible along the side of your body.

Modification for Utthita Parsvakonasana:

Place the right elbow on right knee, instead of placing a hand on the floor. If having both your legs straight is causing pain, you can set your back knee on the floor if necessary.

Benefits of Utthita Parsvakonasana:

Utthita Parsvakonasana is known for alleviating pain associated with menstruation and constipation. It stretches almost the entire body, from shoulders, chest, waist, spine, groin, and legs. It also provides additional strength to the knees and ankles as it requires a high level of stability in those joints to be achieved.