Utthita Pārśvakoṇāsana - Extended Side Angle Pose

Utthita Parsvakonasana.JPG

Extended Side Angle Pose
utthita = extended
ārśva = side, flank
a = angle

  1. Step your feet about four feet (1.2 m) apart.

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

  3. Ensure that the feet line up so that your right heel lines up with your left instep.

  4. Check that the right instep is parallel to the front of your mat (the long edge on the direction you are facing in the pose).

  5. Allow an attitude of mental spaciousness to develop and let the breath feel totally free.

  6. Stretch your arms out away from each other, simultaneously drawing in, the side rib and back ribs (level with the bottom edge of your shoulder blades).

  7. Drop the shoulder tops.

  8. Sensitise the left heel bone and spaciously balance the inner arch, knee and groin with the outer ankle shin and hip to create an out and up rotation of the inner thigh and depth in the left hip.

  9. Inhale and as you exhale bend the right leg from knee and hip, pointing the knee towards the middle toe throughout, stretch the inner thigh from groin to knee (maintain the awareness of the left leg).

  10. Keep the inner thigh on the bent leg long and the outer thigh pulling into the hip so that the knee is kept pointing towards the left middle toe.

  11. Lift the right arm and ribs from the right groin to your armpit, extending up and out and place your hand (cupped or flat) onto the block, brick, book or floor on the outer shin side (little toe side) of the right foot.

  12. As you draw your next inhalation, stretch your left arm and over, rotating the chest upwards as you do so.

  13. Extend the upper side of the body but do not pull it into a hump, following the diagonal line along outer left leg.

  14. Look up under the armpit.

  15. Encourage fluidity, by allowing the breath to be free, consciously allowing it to express the pose’s dynamics.

  16. Maintain the posture for 5 to 30 breaths, coming up before the pose loses its intelligent feel, on an inhale.

  17. Repeat for side two.


  • If tension is felt in the neck or shoulder, raise the bottom hand on to a higher lift (wooden block or stacked foam blocks), extend the bottom trunk from groin to armpit and rotate back leg out further, increase your levels of open relaxed attention. Make space in the body to move into.

  • If problem persists, temporarily simple raise the arm up not over and seek advice.