Standing Poses

Parshvottanasana (Intense Side Stretch Pose)

Level: All levels
Category: Standing Pose

Parshva = side or flank. Ut = intense. Tana = stretch, extend or lengthen.

Organizing the pose

    Pashchima Namaskarasana (Reverse Prayer Pose) Paschima
    • Come into Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
    • Bring the palms together behind the back with the fingers pointing down. Bend the knees, turn the fingers in and up and slide the hands up the back into Pashchima Namaskarasana(Reverse Prayer Pose). If this is not accessible to you, clasp the elbows or wrists. Failing that, come into the pose with the hands on the hips and then bring them to the shin, to blocks or to the floor.
    • Step the feet apart as for Utthita Hasta Padasana (Extended Hands and Feet Pose).
    • Turn the right leg out and the whole of the back leg in to bring the hips and trunk around to face out over the front leg.
    • Inhale, roll the shoulders back, lift and open the chest and take the head up. Exhale, stretch the legs up and back and lengthen the trunk out and down over the leg to bring the chin towards the shin.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.
    • To come to the other side, inhale, roll the trunk and the legs around over the left leg, turning the legs and feet to point the other way, and then lift the trunk and take the head back and up.
    • Exhale and come forward to the second side.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.
    • Inhale and come back up to center, step the legs back together and bring the hands down into Tadasana (Mountain Pose).

Practice Points

    • Ground down into the front big toe mound and draw the thigh up and back.
    • Press into the back heel and extend the leg.
    • Pull the hips back towards the back heel.
    • Lengthen the left and right sides of the trunk evenly.
    • Broaden the chest and collarbones.