Yoga Poses: Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)


 

The Extended side angle pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) is a pose known to stimulate abdominal organs and boost stamina. The major focus is on stretching and lengthening of side muscles of the back and legs. It is a great workout to heal flat foot and sciatica.

Health Benefits

The pose is highly effective in toning the inner thighs, calves and strengthening ankles and toes and knees. Apart from giving you a sexy toned back, it is also have been found very useful for women with menstrual problems and people with constant complain of constipation and low backache. While you have a much flexible spine right after the class, regular practice leads to stronger bones and lower risk of osteoporosis.

Getting in the pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Initial Position: Mountain pose (Tadasana)

Drishti or Gaze: While performing this pose, concentrate your gaze towards the sky.

Steps:

  1. While you get into the starting position, inhale deep and spread your legs about 3-4 m apart. Your arms should also be stretched on sides, parallel to the ground with palms facing the floor.
  2. Gently shift your weight on left leg and bend it one side. Exhale as you do this.
  3. Now, tilt your body to left, trying to touch your toes of your left foot with left hand. Inhale deep as your stretch your other arm aligning it with right stretched out leg.
  4. Hold the position for 15-30 seconds as a beginner. Later you must hold it even longer, say a minute or more. Breathe in once.
  5. Gently exhale and revert to the starting position. Repeat on the other side too. This completes on cycle of the pose.
  6. Do it twice in a practice along with other poses.

If you feel exerted, rest in Corpse pose.

Other variations

  • Iyengar yoga: Here, the arm on the bent side is supported on a brick or wood block to complete a pose. Gradually, the height of block is reduced.
  • Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivritta Parsvakonasana) is another version of the same pose, where the hand does not touch the feet or toes, but is kept rested on the floor. This can be done to deepen the pose once you master the above steps.
  • Alternatively, this pose can also be done with a dumbbell in the extended arm to increase the intensity and work on the hand grip.

Prepartory poses

  1. Downward Dog Pose (Adhomukh Svanasana)
  2. Triangle Pose (Upavista Trikonasana)
  3. Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)

Beginner’s Tip

Keeping the heel anchored to floor is a big problem for beginners. Try getting into the pose with support from the wall.

Advanced Poses

Important Notes

  • This is a Vinyasa yoga pose and hence, movements must be synchronized with the breath. That way, you strengthen your internal as well as external system simultaneously.
  • Those with issues of high blood pressure or constant headaches are strictly advised against down ward dog or any kind of inverted yoga poses.
  • Though this pose is used as a warm up pose for the advanced versions, it would be helpful if you shook your body a bit for 5 minutes before getting into this pose. Warm up first!

Further Reading:

1. How Do I Get Toned Fast and Easy

2. How To Pick Perfect Yoga

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Yoga Poses: Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

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