Utthita Parsvakonasana - Extended Side Angle Pose

 Utthita Parsvakonasana
It might be better, then, to think of Utthita Parsvakonasana as the "Extended Sides Angle Pose."
(oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna)
utthita = extended 
parsva = side, flank 
kona = angle

Extended Side Angle Pose or Utthita Parsvakonasana is a pose that helps to stretch parts of the body that do not usually get stretched. The name of Extended Side Angle Pose yoga translates into extended, flank and angle. This pose is also considered one of the beginner poses where you slowly help your body get accustomed to stretching and contorting which is yoga.

One of the frequent fall outs of this pose when not done correctly is that your bent front leg takes a lot of weight. Tips for Extended Side Angle Pose tell you that balancing the weight on your ribs can be done by resting your forearms on your thighs while you take this starting pose.

Steps :
1. Start with the mountain pose or the Tadasana. This means start with standing straight with feet adjacent to each other and palms facing outward.

2. Exhale and separate your feet to about three feet apart.

3. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and rest them to your sides. You will be standing with your feet apart, shoulders wide, and palms down your side palm down.

4. Turn your left foot slightly to the left and the right foot facing forward.

5. Slowly turn your left thigh outwards so that the center of knee and the ankle of the left foot are in the same line.

6. Turn your hip slightly in the direction of the left leg but keep the torso straight.

7. Now inhale and slowly bend your left knee over the left ankle so that the shin is perpendicular to the ground.

8. The left thigh also is now parallel to the floor. Your right leg is straight and stretched from hip to ankle.

9. Now, in this position, slowly extend your right arm above your head on your left side. The palm should be facing the floor and it should be straight. The arm should also touch your right ear.

10. Slowly turn your face inward and look at the palm. Your other arm should be touching the ankle of the left leg without taking support of the shoulder or the ankle. The aim is to stretch as much of the right side as possible.

11. While inhaling and exhaling, push the extended arm forcefully towards the ceiling. Do this a few times and then slowly come back to the starting position.

12. Now repeat this with the right leg.

Precautions :
Avoid doing this pose if you suffer from any form of headaches, insomnia or any other conditions related to blood pressure or hypertension.
If you have chronic neck pain or neck problems, you should skip the step of trying to look at the palm of the extended hand and just continue to look straight while doing the pose.

Beginner’s Tips:
Beginners could have some trouble while doing this pose. Here are some beginners’ tips for Extended Side Angle Pose. Till you get used to it, you might not be able to balance on your heels and touch one ankle while extending the other side. Try using a wall to steady you. Initially, you might not be able to even touch your ankle or the floor easily. Use your thigh for support or keep a block next to your foot and touch that as you start off. Once you get flexible you will be able to do the pose as required.

Benefits To Body Parts:
  • It stretches out many parts, helping the legs, groin, chest, lungs, ankles, spine, shoulders and abdomen.
  • This pose strengthens the knees, ankles, and legs while stretching muscles in the groin, abdomen, lungs, chest and waist.
  • It increases stamina but stimulating the abdominal organs.
Therapeutic Applications:
It is known to help in infertility, constipation, osteoporosis, weak backs and chronic back pain, discomfort during menstruation and even a remedy to the very painful sciatica nerve inflammation.
The aim of any pose in yoga is slowly balanced out all bodily systems including removing toxins and stiffness.
The asana or pose aims to improve that body part to its full working capability so in this pose with all this stretching, all strong muscles holding the hips and spine also get stretched.
Ordinarily these muscles do not get stretched so this deep stretching is very beneficial for good muscle health.

Follow Up Poses :
  • Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
  • Garland Pose (Malasana)
  • Crane pose (Bakasana) for the extended side angle pose.

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