Yoga Tips: Extended Side Angle

 
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Based on my Instagram polls it sounds like you guys want to know more about yoga poses - tips, breakdowns, modifications, etc.

So today we are starting with a favorite of mine - Extended Side Angle.

Sometimes people just call it side angle pose, and sometimes by it's Sanskrit name: Utthita Parsvakonasana. Basically all yoga poses with Sanskrit names can be easily translated (althought I think there are some instances where that might not be the case), for this one it does:

  • Utthita meaning Extended
  • Parsva meaning Side
  • Kona meaning Angle
  • Asana meaning Pose

To get into it, start in Warrior 2 - take a Reverse Warrior and then reach your front arm to the front of the room and lower your hand to the ground (or a block)  inside of your leg:

 Warrior 2

Warrior 2

 Reverse

Reverse

 Extended Side Angle with Hand to a Block

Extended Side Angle with Hand to a Block

There are a few ways to position the arm inside of your leg: as I mentioned above you can place it on a block, you can reach for the ground, you can hover the arm above the ground using more core and glute strength, or you can very gently rest an elbow on your knee. Just make sure for the last variation that you are not dumping your weight into the leg but rather using your elbow to help push the knee out and open your chest up.

Reach the top arm towards the front of the room: imagine drawing a rainbow from the knife edge of the foot on your straight leg, through t fingertips overhead. Also make sure your back foot is fully plant on the ground, with the toes slightly pigeon toed.

My final tip in this pose is to use the arm that reaches to the ground to create tention against that bent leg, this pose takes a lot of strength but if you create the right tension pressing leg into arm and arm into leg, then you get both a strength exercise and a wonderful stretch.

PS your gaze can be anywhere, my preference, despite the photo, is to look down because that feels best on my neck.

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