Standing Poses

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose) Parsvakonasana

Level: All levels
Category: Standing Pose, Forward Extension, Twist, Backward Extension (slight)

Utthita = extended. Parshva = side. Kona = angle.

Organizing the pose

    • From Tadasana (Mountain Pose), step or hop out into Utthita Hasta Padasana (Extended Hands and Feet Pose).
    • Step the feet wider apart and come into Parshva Hasta Padasana (Side Hands and Feet Pose) on the right side.
    • Exhale and bend the right leg at the hip and ankle and take the thigh out so that shin and ankle make a 90° angle. (It is important that the shin be vertical. Do not let the knee extend out past the ankle, as this will put undue stress on the joint.)
    • Reach the right arm out over the thigh and place the hand down on the outside of the foot. Place the hand on a block if either you’re unable to bring the palm to the floor, or if you must drop the chest to do so.
    • Reach the left arm out and up, bringing it alongside the ear with the palm facing the floor.
    • Roll the ribcage and chest up towards the ceiling.
    • Look up through the left upper arm at the ceiling.
    • Hold the position for several breaths.
    • Press down into the feet and swing the trunk back up to Parshva Hasta Padasana (Side Hands and Feet Pose).
    • Repeat on the other side.

Practice Points

    • Ground down through the big toe mound of the front foot and draw the shin up.
    • Reach the front thigh out of the hip.
    • Press the leg into the arm and the arm into the leg.
    • Press into the back heel and extend the back leg, drawing the thigh up into the chest.
    • Reach the tailbone down towards the back heel and soften the lower abdomen.
    • Turn the chest and trunk up towards the ceiling without losing contact between the bent leg and the arm.
    • Pull the raised wrist away from the back heel to stretch the side.