How to Achieve the Perfect Intense Extended Side Stretch

Parsvottanasana or Intense Extended Side Stretch is another excellent full body stretch and strengthening pose. 

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

Benefits

  • Strengthens and stretches the leg muscles, hip joints, and spine
  • Tones internal organs by the contraction of the abdomen occurring when the head reaches the knee
  • Opens the inner thighs and groin 
  • Corrects round and sluggish shoulders

The Pose

  • Starting in Extended Side Angle pose, inhale and straighten the front leg
  • Rotate the top arm back and down 
  • Place the bottom palm outside the front 
  • Step the back foot inward 12 inches 
  • Lengthen the spine parallel to the floor
  • Exhale and fold forward
  • Position the fingertips in line with the heels, bending the elbows or arms extended straight backwards, palms as flat as possible
  • Square the hips placing the right hip back, left hip forward, and sacrum flat towards the ceiling
  • Keep the tailbone tucked in 
  • Beginners Variation 
    • Use a block or hold both hands on the ankles or shins
    • Inhale and stretch up onto the fingertips elongating the spine and bringing the right leg straight
    • Bring the left hip forward and right hip back, squaring them towards the front with the sacrum flat towards the ceiling 
  • Challenging Variation 
    • Inhale and interlace the fingers at the top of the sacrum then exhale to relax further into the pose
    • Stretch the arms straight up, away from the back, wrists pressing together
    • Keep the outer edge of the front foot pressing to deepen the stretch in the hamstring of the back leg
    • Keep the kneecap lifted, fold deeper over the front leg keeping the toes flat on the floor 
    • Reach the chest bone towards the front leg

 

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

Breaths: Aim to hold for 1 to 5 breaths

Avoid: If you have knee issues


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