Yoga Poses; How to do Utthita Parsvakonasana
Utthita Parsvakonasana is a great asana to create new energy in your body. It helps expand the ribs down both sides of your body to allow deep full breaths.
Think about when you wake up in the morning, and stretch your arms above your head with a giant yawn. That's opening up your sides to allow air into your lungs in a similar way.
You need to pay attention to stabalising your legs and hips when completing Utthita parsvakonasana, so that you are well balanced to achieve the fullest stretch possible right through your body to the tips of your fingers.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga, is learning to focus your mind, and this pose is great for that. Ensure that you are focusing on the many different parts of the pose, from your feet, through your legs and hips, your arms and head, all at the same time. This trains your mind to focus on many things simultaneously.
Watch the following video, as Kerri McCubben shows us how to do Utthita parsvakonasana;
Some benefits of Utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose)
- Relieves stiffness in the back and shoulder
- Can relieve sciatica
- Strengthens the ankles knees and legs
- Can help with menstrual pain
- Can help with lower back pain
- Provides a great stretch through the groin and hamstrings
- Come into Tadasana (mountain pose)
- Bring your right leg back, while rotating both feet inwards, so that you end up almost pigeon toed
- Raise your arms up to shoulder height
- Draw your lower belly in
- Keep your arms and legs straight and strong, and turn your right foot out, pointing your toes to the right
- Bend through your right knee
- Bring your right hand onto your leg and your left hand onto your hip
- Turn your head, taking your gaze up to the sky
- Place your right hand down onto the floor beside your right foot
- Reach your left arm up and over
- Hold for five long deep breaths
- Release and simply come back up
- Repeat steps 2 through to 11, this time with the left leg / side.
- Release and come back up again to finish
- Don't allow your body to drop or lean forward throughout the pose
- Keep your back foot pressed firmly into the floor
- Don't allow your front knee to go past your ankle. Keep it aligned with your front heel
- Focus on your breathing throughout
When you are completing this asana properly, with your breathing, mind and body in alignment, you will feel how yoga unites the spirit, mind and body as one.
Utthita parsvakonasana works the whole body, so it's a good idea to complete the asana earlier in your routine, so that you can maintain good form without any fatigue having set in.
If you'd love to get into more technical info about the extended side angle pose, then check out this Wikipedia page.
Looking for more yoga poses for your practice? We've got 50 beginner yoga poses for you to try.
Keep practicing, and stay healthy!