“Yoga, because punching people is frowned upon.” – Anonymous
Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana) certainly can feel like a good wake up for the body! A big stretch for the side of the body, groin, spine, waist, chest, shoulders and the hip flexors as well as strengthening the legs. A fabulous way to wake up whilst brewing your morning coffee!
Read below to learn how to practice Side Angle Pose at home.
Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog (above)
Virabhdrasana II – Warrior 2 (above)
Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1 (above)
Step by Step Guide
From standing in Tadasana, step back with your left leg and land the with the toes facing out to the side. Turn your hips to face to the side but keep your right toes facing forwards.
With right arm resting on right thigh, raise your left arm overhead and point the fingers forwards. Turn your chest to face to the side as much as you comfortably can.
Reach forwards with your left arm and roll weight into the outside of your left foot to create a stretch in both directions. At the same time draw your left shoulder down your back and engage lightly with your abdominal muscles, so that you still feel support and connected into your joints.
If you’d like to amp up the difficulty then land the right hand to the floor inside or outside the right ankle whilst still keeping length and rotation in the torso. Don’t rest weight through that hand, hold the weight with your foundation instead.
And if you’re feeling hardcore then you can try the bind too! Wrap the right arm underneath the right thigh and the left arm over the waist and around the back – either connect both hands to bind or hold on to a belt with both hands to find a more accessible bind. Keep the chest open and try not to collapse at the torso!
Stay here and breathe for up to 6 rounds of breath.
To come out, unravel the bind or loosen the arms and step the left foot forward as gracefully as possible with your hands in Anjali Mudra. Practice this on the other side.