Extended Side Angle Pose: Utthita Parsvakonasana
Utthita parsvakonasana (oo-TEE-tah PARZ-vuh-ko-NAHS-uh-nuh) is a standing pose that stretches the legs, knees, hips, and ankles while increasing endurance and stamina.
- Utthita: extended
- Parsva: side
- Kona: angle
- Asana: pose
- Strengthens your thighs, hips, knees, and ankles.
- Stretches your groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, and shoulders.
- Increases endurance and stamina.
- Triangle pose | Trikonasana
- Half moon pose | Ardha chandrasana
- Bound extended side angle | Baddha parsvakonasana
- Pyramid pose | Parsvottanasana
- Standing forward fold | Uttanasana
- Reverse warrior | Viparita virabhadrasana
- Rest your forearm on the top of your front thigh. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and stay engaged in the sides of the torso to prevent collapsing toward the ground.
- Place a block under your bottom hand to bring the ground closer to you.
- Keep your gaze forward or down to the floor to invite more space in the neck.
- Begin in warrior II pose with your right foot forward.
- Reach your right arm toward the top of your mat, extending through the sides of your torso. When you reach as far as you can, lower your right hand down and left hand toward the ceiling, both palms facing the left side of your mat.
- Draw both shoulders away from your ears. Square your shoulders to the left side of your mat.
- Hold for 3-5 breaths, then return to warrior II and release. Repeat on the other side.
Ustrasana: Camel Pose
Ustrasana (oosh-TRAHS-anna), offers a long list of benefits for both the physical and subtle bodies. Thanks to its many different variations and modifications, there are plenty of ways for individuals of all levels to appreciate the chest-opening and chakra-opening effects of camel pose.
Philosophy + Origin
Camel pose is named because the shape resembles the hump on a camel’s back, however there are other ways to consider the name when approaching the posture. Camels are known for their slow, steady, almost methodical way of moving. Rather than trying to race into the posture, moving slowly and methodically will help you find its benefits safely. Camels use their humps as food reserves, like well-packed bags ready to be used when needed. This type of physical preparation, a part of the camel’s natural adaptation for survival, is essential for this pose as well. Take your time to gather and practice the skills and knowledge necessary to take a back-bending journey to ensure that you come in and out of the posture with ease and poise.