Utthita Pārśvakoṇāsana - Extended Side Angle Pose

Utthita Parsvakonasana.JPG

This pose increases stamina, stimulates the abdominal organs and stretches the legs, groins, spine, waist, chest and shoulders.

Extended side angle pose
Utthita = extended; parsva = side, flank; kona = angle.

  1. Step your feet into a wide stride – about four to four and a half foot (depending on height).

  2. Turn your left toes in and your right foot and leg out.

  3. Ensure your right heel lines up with your left instep and that your right instep is turned out 90 degrees from your pelvis (if you are using a yoga mat, line the instep of the foot parallel with the front edge of your mat).

  4. Anchor yourself into the centre of the heel bones.

  5. Revolve your right thigh bone 90 degrees from your pelvis so that your knee faces the same direction as your foot.

  6. Lift the left arch whilst staying anchored onto the centre heel.

  7. Make a strong commitment to rotating the right femur (thigh bone) out.

  8. As you bend your right knee, turn the right thigh bone proportionately to counter the increasingly strong pull forwards on the right knee.

  9. As your knee descends, lift and extend your right ribs away from your pelvis reaching out with your right arm lowering your elbow on top of your thigh and raising your left hand up perpendicular to the floor.

  10. Rotate the chest bringing your right ribs forwards and your left ribs back.

  11. Breath more space into the centre chest and space into the shoulders.

  12. Keep your back hip joint in and the back arch lifted.

  13. Come up on an inhalation, turn the feet to the front and repeat on side two.

  14. With practise, drop the bottom hand to a wooden brick or a yoga block (even low foot stool) and raise the top arm as before. When comfortable in these first two stages draw top arm over the left ribs to form a ‘side angle’ (parsvakonasana) with the left leg, as shown in picture.

Stay for ten breaths or up to 30 seconds, then come up and repeat on the other side.
Extra focus:

Keeping on the centre back heel, while lifting the arch: this will help you with the overall turn of the torso.