How to Achieve the Perfect Extended Side Angle Pose

 Utthita Parsvakonasana or the Extended Side Angle pose is an excellent torso stretch pose. When properly positioned, you should find your upper arm, spine, and back leg forming one continuous diagonal line from your feet to your finger tips.  

Young woman doing yoga in the park in an intense extended side angle stretch pose - Front Intense Extended Side Angle Pose - Yoga - ILYNSI Yoga

(Front Side) 

 

Young woman doing yoga in the park in an intense extended side angle stretch pose - Back Intense Extended Side Angle Pose - Yoga - ILYNSI Yoga

(Back Side) 

Benefits

  • Stretches hips, groin, side of the body, and spine
  • Strengthens and stretches thighs, knees, and ankles
  • Strengthens core 

The Pose

  • Option 1, from Mountain Pose step one leg back 3 to 4 feet apart with your back foot at 90 degrees and your front foot slightly inward
  • Option 2, from Warrior 2 Pose drop your front hand to the outside of your front foot and extend your arms out to your sides parallel to the floor
  • Make sure your front heel aligns with the inner arch of your back foot
  • Keep your back leg straight with the thigh slightly internally rotated and weight pressed on the pinky toe 
  • Exhale and extend your arm straight up to the ceiling while sending your opposite hand to the floor
  • Turn your lifted arm to face the floor externally rotating the entire arm as you exhale and reach over your ear
  • Inhale and lengthen your torso
  • Exhale and pivot the upward facing side of your torso clockwise toward the ceiling
  • Turn your gaze underneath your arm up toward the ceiling 
  • Beginner Variation 
    • Place your lower hand on a block or rest the elbow on the thigh
    • Extend the top fingertips towards the ceiling
  • Challenging Variation
    • Take a bind by wrapping your bottom arm under your thigh and the other arm behind your back to join your hands together 

 

Breaths: Aim for 1 to 5 breaths

Avoid

  • If you have knee or shoulder issues
  • Do not crunch your bottom ribs
  • Avoid allowing your shoulders to round forward

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