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Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Lateral Angle Pose.

July 3, 2011

Utthita Parsvakonasana – Extended Lateral Angle Pose.

  • Begin in Tadasana
  • Step the feet approximately 4 to 5 feet apart ensuring the feet are in the same line
  • Begin on the right side of the body by turning the right foot out to a 90 degree angle
  • The heel of the right foot should be in line with the inner arch of the left foot
  • Turn the toes of the left foot inwards slightly to the right
  • Keep the upper body facing forward
  • On the inhalation raise the arms up to shoulder level
  • On the exhalation bend the right leg to a right angle so that the thigh is parallel to the floor and the shin is perpendicular to the floor
  • The right knee should point in the same direction as the toes of the right foot
  • The right knee should be in line with the right heel
  • As per Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II
  • At the same time extend the upper body to the right and then downwards taking the right hand or fingertips to the floor and to the outside of the right foot
  • Push the right knee against the right arm and visa versa
  • Stretch the left arm up and over the left ear to the right
  • Stretch the left leg to be as straight as is possible
  • Intentionally push down into the outer edge of the left foot
  • Consciously turn the chest and the left shoulder to revolve towards the ceiling and not towards the floor
  • The head can face forward or tuck the chin in slightly and turn the head to look past the left armpit
    Stretch from the outer edge of the left foot up the left leg through the left side of the body up the left arm and right into the left fingertips
  • This stretch is correctly achieved when the chest, hips and the legs are in line
  • Breathe and hold the pose for 3 – 5 breaths as a beginner and 5-8 / 8-10 breaths for a more advanced practitioner
  • On the inhalation release the pose pushing the right hand off the floor and then straightening the right leg coming back into an upright standing position
  • Consciously remember to always come out of a pose the same way as going into the posture

Repeat the asana for the same duration of time on the left side of the body.

Counterpose /  Pratikryasana:
Samasthiti
Tadasana
Uttanasana or Ardha Uttanasana with the hands against a wall or the back of a chair
Prasarita Padottanasana (better for intermediate and advanced practitioners rather than complete beginners).

Cautions and Modifications:
Depending on one’s capability and flexibility levels, if the hand cannot reach the floor or doing so is too strenuous, place an upright block on the outside of the right foot and rest the hand on the block
Or
Rest the right forearm on the right thigh
The same would apply for the left hand side
If encountering any shoulder problems do not raise the upper arm up or over the head, rather place the hand on the hip for the duration of the pose
To experience a slightly different stretch in the same asana one can repeat the pose a second time and place the hand or block to the inside of the foot of the bent leg

Benefits:
Tones, strengthens and develops the leg muscles
Stretches the hamstrings
Reduces fat around the waist and the hips
Almost all standing poses reduce body weight
Helps the body to develop stamina
Tones the abdominal area
With regular practice the pose assists to relieve Sciatic and arthritic pain
Strengthens and removes sluggishness from the intestines aiding digestion
Stretches the spine

Chakra Association:
Muladhara for Grounding and
Svadisthana for Emotional Balance

Remember to be gentle with yourself at all times and with any asana practiced. Listen to your body, do what feels right for you then and there. Be patient with your progress. Mindfully note that Yoga is not a competition with others and more importantly it is not a competition with your ego. The practice of the 3rd limb of Ashtanga Yoga, the physical postures, is there for you to nurture body, mind and soul.

With Prem, (Love),

Juanita.

_____________________________________

Juanita CaprariJuanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since January 2007. jcaprari@mweb.co.za or visit the website www.yogamala.co.za

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