(Utthita Parsvakonasana): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Beginner

Extended Sige Angle Pose

(Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Extended Sige Angle Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), right leg forward, left leg back, aligning heel of front (right) foot with arch of back (left) foot. Hands come onto hips

2

Right toes (front foot) pointed toward top of mat, right (front) knee bent, stacking knee over ankle, thigh parallel to floor, rotated externally. Left foot (back foot) parallel to the back edge of mat, left (back) thigh lengthened, engaging muscles, grounding through outside edge of left (back) foot.

3

Hips are square to side edge of mat, low abs firm in and up, knitting front ribs finding length in the front, sides and back of torso. Shoulders stacked over hips

4

On an exhalation, torso bends to the right, right forearm resting on right thigh. Ribs lengthen evenly way from hip points, tailbone lengthens toward back heel, heart spirals toward ceiling.

5

On an inhalation, left arms sweeps up toward ceiling and overhead, inline with left ear. Head and neck inline with spine.

6

Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

7

To come out of the pose, inhale to Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), heal toe left (back) foot in to shorten stance, use the abdominal muscles to mindfully step back to Mountain (Tadasana) at top of mat, prepare for second side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Front knee behind ankle instead of stacked
  • Practice with back to a wall (balance issues)
  • Bring bottom hand onto block (inside or outside of front foot)
  • Heel to heel stance if hips are tight
  • Place top hand on hip (shoulder injury)

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Strengthens core and tones quadriceps and obliques
  • Improves balance
  • Stretches and strengthens shoulder muscles in top arm
  • Increases Stamina
  • Opens the heart

Contraindications

  • Hip, ankle or knee injuries (Flexion or Rotation)
  • Difficulty Standing 
  • Balance Issues (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury (see modifications)

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Extended Side Angle (Parsvakonasana), Reverse Triangle (Parivritta Trikonasana), Option to Flow through Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), meeting in Mountain (Tadasana). Repeat on other side.

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