Extended side angle pose is a common standing yoga pose which is known as Utthita Parsvakonasana. In Sanskrit, Extended side angle pose is called Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana. It means, “Baddha”- bound, “Utthita”-extended, “Parsva”-side, “kona”-angle, “Asana”-pose.
Steps to practice:
- At first, begin in Mountain pose or Tadasana.
- Stand with your feet, maintaining a distance about 3 to 4 feet apart. Your heels should be in one line with one another.
- Turning to the left, lift your arms parallel to the ground and extend your arms out of your shoulder blades and palms facing down.
- Now turn your right foot out entirely to the right in 90 degrees angle and your left foot slightly to the right in about 45 degrees angle.
- Now exhale, and bend your right knee until your right thigh gets parallel to the floor.
- Keep your right knee directly over your heel and you need to check that your knee is in line with your toes.
- You have to keep your torso open to the left, rolling your left hip quite forward, towards the right, but move your upper torso back to the left.
- Now take a breath in, lower your right hand with fingertips on the mat as if you can rest your palm on the mat. Then place your right shoulder away from your ears as low as you can against your right inner thigh.
- Next, raise your right arm from the floor and thread your right arm through the beneath of your right hamstring to your back.
- Now lift up your left arm straight toward the ceiling and bend your elbow and take your left arm behind you.
- The upper part of your left arm should rest on your back side. At this position hold your left wrist with your right hand. If you cannot hold your wrist properly, at least try to hold your fingers. It is important not to drop your top shoulder forward.
- Widen your collarbones; you have to open your chest. You have to draw your top shoulder blade into your upper back and your left shoulder should be placed above your right shoulder.
- Now look up towards the ceiling, keeping your neck soft and keep breathing smoothly.
- Now, you should not drop your front knee and keep your front thigh externally rotating with your right knee slightly drawn toward your baby toe of front foot. Then press firmly through the outer edge of your foot back.
- Now hold this position for 30 sec to 60 seconds.
- To release from the extended side angle pose, push both your heels firmly into the floor and lift your left arm toward the ceiling.
- Now reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time towards the left. Finally come up and return to mountain pose.
Benefit of Extended Side Angle Pose:
The extended side angle pose helps to reduce stiffness in the shoulders and back. It improves the stamina and strengthens legs, knees and ankles.