Extended side angel pose

Utthita Parsvakonasana Extended side Angle Pose

Extended side angle pose is beginners pose with multiple benefits. Apart from strengthening both legs and arms, this pose helps to build stamina, relieves backache. It is a suggested pose for pregnant women. One need to understand how to get into pose, balance and properly bring neck into position. Other benefits of the pose is, it stretches abdominal muscle , reduces sciatica pain and increases metabolism. It is a recommended pose for all age grouops (www.healthylife.werindia.com). In Sanskrit:  (oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna) utthita = extended, parsva = side, flank, kona=angle

Type of Pose: Standing, Hip opener


  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Increases stamina
  • Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy
  • Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica

Step by Step

1. Step the feet out 4 – 4 ½ feet. Turn the left foot slightly in toward the body (about 60 degrees) Turn the right heel in, toes out to 90 degrees. Align the front heel to back arch. 2. Externally rotate the front thigh so that the knee aligns with center of foot (allow for pelvis to turn forward slightly and back foot to turn in slightly to accommodate this action).

3. Inhale, stretch the arms out fingertip to fingertip. Anchor your weight into the back leg & heel. Exhale, bend the front knee & lower down into Virbhadrasana II. (Be sure that the front knee does not extend past the heel and that it stays in line with the center of the foot).

4. On another exhalation, hinge at the hip, extending the bottom torso long, and take the forearm to the thigh (palm face up or down). For a deeper variation: lay the torso down onto the thigh and take the fingertips to floor or block on the outside of the foot. Resist the urge to crunch/collapse the lower side of the torso to get your hand to the floor. Instead, keep both sides of the waistline long.

5. Extend the top arm alongside the ear, palm facing down. Reach actively through the extended fingertips as you draw the shoulder blade down the back. Use the leverage of your knee against the bottom arm to help you roll the upper chest open. Gaze forward or up at the extended arm. Draw the chin slightly down toward the chest to lengthen through the back of the neck.

6. Squeeze the right sit bone forward and press the left thigh bone back in to space to open the hips. Draw the lower belly in and up, and lengthen from tail to crown.

7. Stay for 3-5 breaths. Inhale, reach through the top arm and straighten the legs to come up.

Anatomical Actions:

  • Center of foot aligns w/center of knee, center of knee aligns with center of thigh
  • Strong Tadasana legs – hug the muscles to the bones
  • Front leg externally rotates, back leg slight internal rotation, back & out
  • Counter-rotate the arms (eyes of elbows pointing up to ceiling).
  • Revolve the skull around the center line

Preparatory Poses:

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
  • Baddah Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)

Contraindications and Cautions: Contraindications and Cautions: Do not perform this asana if you have

  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Neck problems: In case you like to perform then, don’t turn your head to look over the front hand; continue to look straight ahead with both sides of the neck lengthened evenly.

This article is as published in http://physiomaterials.karnatakaphysio.org/ physiotherapeuticspdfs

Image courtesy: Image by Amit Kumar from Pixabay 

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: July 26, 2019

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