Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

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Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) steps, precautions & benefits!!

Developing a sense of balance and stability along with stretching and exercising all the parts of the body is what you get from practicing Utthita Parsvakonasana. This pose strengthens the core resulting in increased endurance and stamina (something every fitness focused person would want). So why not include this ‘make you stronger’ type yoga poses into your everyday health regime and continue to follow fitness while you can. Let’s know about the original name of Extended Side Angle Pose and move towards its steps, precautions & benefits.

The Sanskrit name Utthita Parsvakonasana is derived from 4 words and their meaning has inspired its English name.

Utthita = Extended

Parsva = Side

Kona = Angle

Asana = Posture

Utthita Parsvakonasana

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How to practice Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Be careful about the alignment of your body while you practice (unless there is a mirror).Sometimes the misalignment could be very minor or hard to notice but is capable of causing an injury or sprain.That’s why it is always recommended to begin the practice in the presence of a yoga instructor.Once you have learned, it is quite safe to continue the practice by yourself at home.

Starting Position: Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

  1. Take a deep breath and distance your legs 4-5 feet apart.Raise your arms in line with your shoulders keeping them parallel to the floor, palms facing down.
  2. As you exhale, turn the right foot outwards 90 degrees to the right.Slightly turn the left foot inwards 60 degrees to the right.The right heel must be in line with the left heel.
  3. Bend the right knee till you form a 90-degree angle between thigh and calf.Your thigh must be parallel to the floor and the right knee aligned right over the heel.The calf should be perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Keep left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee throughout the practice.
  5. Put the right palm on the floor by the side of the right foot. Ideally, the outer side of the right knee must be covered and touched by the right armpit.
  6. Stretch out the left arm over the left ear with the palm facing down.Turn the head in the upward direction and look straight.
  7. Hold the final position for a few seconds and then release the pose.
  8. To return, lift the right palm off the floor, straighten the legs and come back in starting position.

Practicing twice for a few seconds is enough for beginners. As you begin to gain more strength and flexibility, extend duration and repetitions.

Utthita Parsvakonasana

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Precautions for Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

  • Keep the neck in a neutral position if you are new to this pose else you are likely to experience a lot of stress in neck muscles.
  • Don’t put the weight completely on your legs and arms, rather try to stretch your body, distributing your weight evenly.
  • Avoid practicing this asana in case of severe pain in the neck, back or shoulders.
  • The practice of Extended Side Angle should be avoided in case you suffer from: frequent headaches, high or low blood pressure, migraine, insomnia, joint pain, cervical spondylitis or heart problem.

Benefits of Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

  • Stretches and strengthens the knees, ankles and thighs.
  • Gives a good stretch to lungs, groin, spine and abdomen.
  • Useful in removing excess fat around the waist and hips.
  • Beneficial for people who suffer from sciatica pain.
  • Prevents osteoporosis and relieves lower back pain.
  • Revitalize abdominal organs hence enhances digestion.

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