Extended Side Angle Pose: Utthita Parsvakonasana

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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.

SANSKRIT

  • Utthita: extended
  • Parsva: side
  • Kona: angle
  • Asana: pose

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

  • Strengthens your thighs, hips, knees, and ankles.
  • Stretches your groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, and shoulders.

ENERGETIC BENEFITS

  • Increases endurance and stamina.

PREP POSES

SEQUENTIAL POSES

COUNTER POSES

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS

  • 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.

STEP-BY-STEP

  1. Begin in warrior II pose with your right foot forward.
  2. 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.
  3. Draw both shoulders away from your ears. Square your shoulders to the left side of your mat.
  4. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then return to warrior II and release. Repeat on the other side.

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Janu Sirsasana: Head to Knee Pose

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ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     PREP POSES    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Janu sirsasana (JAH-new shear-SHAHS-anna), may look simple, but it combines elements of a forward fold, twist, and side body stretch. Head to knee pose stretches the hamstrings, low back, and groins and can be adjusted to be very challenging or very relaxing.

Philosophy + Origin

While the name of the pose may seem to reveal an intention based on physical anatomy (head to knee pose), janu sirsasana is really all about turning inward and creating space for self-reflection. Instead of focusing on the intensity of the posture — or a desire to bring your head to your knee — turn your attention to the peace and stillness that may be hiding beneath the more prominent sensations.

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