Extended Side Angle: Ways to Prop Up Your Yoga Practice

Extended Side Angle pose takes on the stance of Warrior 2 pose, but embraces the spinal line sensations of Triangle pose. Besides the clear strengthening and warming aspects of this pose, Utthita Parsvakonasana is meant to deliver an expanding quality from the core and out to the limbs. A common mistake in this pose is to bring the bottom hand down the earth while not having the awareness or mobility to sustain even length on either side of the torso. The result, which is often also seen in Triangle, is a curving the spine and diminished expansion of the one side of the waist.

With the use of a prop, you can more readily retain the proper lines of length along the sides of the waist from which you can settle and explore the other benefits of this pose:

  • Strengthens your thighs, hips, knees, and ankles.
  • Stretches your groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, lungs (intercostal muscles) and shoulders.
  • Massages and stimulates your abdominal organs.
  • Increases endurance and stamina.

Ways to Prop Up Utthita Parsvakonasana for Expanding Alignment

Halfmoon Yoga Props: Block (Foam, Cork, Cedar)

  • Set up your feet, as you would in Warrior 2 pose.
  • Place the block on the inside of the front foot and choose from one of three heights to best support your pose.
  • The height of the block helps to keep length in both sides of the body.
  • Press your hand into the block for a solid foundation. Rotate your chest open towards sky while keeping your abdomen engaged.  The spine tends to become lordotic (belly pushes out) when we rotate the torso open.
  • Lengthen from your baby toe through the pinky finger, creating one long line of energy.  Be mindful that as your top arm reaches, this extending motion does not create shoulder impingement or neck compression.
  • As you work through this pose, maintain even grounding through the feet and lift your weight out of the shoulder of the bottom, supporting hand.

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