Breaking Down the Pose: Parsvakonasana

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We’re breaking down some of your favorite yoga poses so that you can get into them safely and reap all of their incredible benefits. Last time we helped you take flight in bakasana, and today we’re taking a closer look at parsvakonasana, or extended side angle. Parsvakonasana stretches your side body, strengthens your legs, opens your hips, and helps you warm up for other hip opening poses such as malasana and bakasana. Practice it first thing in the morning for an extra burst of energy and to get your blood flowing!

  1. Stand in tadasana facing the side of your mat. On an exhale, step your feet wide. From deep within your hip socket, turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot slightly in toward the right. Check that your right heel is in line with the arch of your left foot. 
  2. Press down through the outer edge of your left foot, and root down through all four corners of your right foot (below the big toe, below the pinky toe, and both sides of your heel). On an exhale, begin to bend your right knee until it’s directly above your ankle.
  3. On an inhale, lift your arms out to the height of your shoulders with your palms facing the floor (you should now be in warrior 2). On an exhale, take your right hand to the floor on the inside of your right foot. Place your hand on a block if you cannot keep all four sides of your waist even so that you can find length in your spine.
  4. Draw your right buttock in and under as you firm your left leg and press the left thigh straight back.
  5. Rotate your left palm to face your head, and on an inhale reach your left arm up and over in line with your left ear. Lengthen from your left foot all the way up through your left fingertips. Lengthen your neck, and, if it’s comfortable for you, bring your gaze gently up toward your left hand.
  6. Stay here for a few rounds of breath, and then repeat on the left side.

Master the pose with this online tutorial from MyYogaWorks.com.

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