Utthita Parsvakonasana

Intermidate

Standing Asanas

Utthita Parsvakonasana

Extended Side Angle Pose

(ut-thi-ta-par-so-ko-na-sun)

Meaning: utthita = extended / parsva=side / kona = angle

Table of content

Preparation

Stand upright with a straight spine, relaxed shoulders, arms at your sides, feet together. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Inhale. Exhaling, step your feet (one at a time) out to the side about two and a half shoulder widths apart. Turn your left foot about 45 degrees inward and your right foot toward the front of your mat. Align the heels. Inhaling, raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide and palms down. Exhaling, bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is vertical. Inhale. Exhaling, bend your torso from the hips toward your right foot. Strengthen the back leg and press the outer edge of the foot into the floor. Place your right palm on the floor, inside your right foot. Inhaling, rotate the torso upward to the left, keeping the left side lengthened, trying to position the left shoulder directly above the right. Raise your left arm to the sky. Keep your head and shoulders in-line with your heels. Look up toward your left hand. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, stretch farther. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Exhale. Inhaling, raise torso to an upright position, straightening your right leg. Exhaling, lower the arms and relax the shoulders. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Turn both feet forward (parallel to each other) and repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • For stability, keep the weight of the body on the rear leg and press down onto the outer edge of the rear foot.
  • Keep the front heel in-line with the rear heel.
  • Avoid bending the knee more than 90 degrees.
  • Do not overstrain the side body; distribute the stretch over as much of the body as possible to avoid overstraining a particular area.
  • When raising the arm, open the chest, and raise it directly from the side (not rotating from the front or back) to avoid shoulder strain.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have chronic/serious neck problems, keep the neck neutral.

Be careful

If you have a headache/migraine, high or low blood pressure, get dizzy easily, or if you are menstruating.

Benefits

General

  • Stretches the shoulders, spine, chest, lungs, hips, and pelvis.
  • Strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles.
  • Relieves back pain. Stimulates abdominal organs.
  • Improves digestion and helps with constipation.

Therapeutic

Helps to reduce the symptoms of constipation, infertility and osteoporosis and relieves the pain of lower backache, sciatica and menstrual discomfort.

Variations

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