Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Side Angle Posture (Modified)

Pronounced oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna, this is Extended Side Angle Posture.

This posture is found in the early stages of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga standing sequence.  Here I will discuss a modified version of this posture which does not require props.

It is recommended to seek the guidance and supervision of a qualified yoga teacher when practicing yoga postures.

Begin by standing at the front of a yoga mat in mountain posture (tadasana).  The pelvic floor and bandhas are engaged – with the navel pulling inwards, towards the spine.

On an inhale, take a wide step, stepping the right foot towards the back of the mat, with both arms outstretched at shoulder height, palms facing down.  Turn the right foot so the toes are pointing towards the back of the mat, and the left foot is perpendicular to the front of the mat.  The feet are firmly rooted into the ground, be mindful that the the outer edge of the left foot is pressing into the mat.

Remember this is a side stretch, so keep the upper body facing forward parallel the side of the mat.  Mindfully bend the right knSide angle posture, utthita parsvakonasana at yogalime ee so that the thigh is parallel to the floor (aiming for a 90 degree bend).  Ensure the right knee is placed directly above the right ankle, you may need to adjust the width of your stance to achieve this.

Keeping the torso facing forward, with shoulder blades wide and reaching down towards the lower back, gently reach and place the right elbow ontop of the right knee and extend the left arm up and over the top of the head.  Turn the head to look up towards the extended hand (drishti).  This posture also works as a hip opener.  Be mindful of the hips opening.

Exhale and remain here for 5 deep breaths.

Inhale and come up slowly keeping the feet where they are, pivot and rotate the feet to repeat this posture on the other side.  Remain here for 5 deep breaths.

To exit the pose, inhale and come up slowly, leaving the feet parallel to enter into the next posture in the sequence.

Let me know if you have any variations of this pose that you enjoy.

“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.” Sri K Pattabhi Jois

Peace and love, Sky





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