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.
Prasarita Padottanasana: Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose
Prasarita padottanasana (pra-sa-REE-tah pah-doh-tahn-AHS-an-uh) is a big stretch for the hamstrings and inner leg line. With many variations available, this pose is accessible for most practitioners. This is also a great pose in lieu of headstand.
Philosophy + Origin
Prasarita padottanasana has found its way into almost every style of yoga. B.K.S. Iyengar taught several variations of this posture, labeling them as A, B, C, and D. The most commonly practiced variation is prasarita padottanasana A. Prasarita padottanasana B is when the hands are on the hips and the head is lifted off the ground, not resting on the mat. Prasarita padottanasana C is the variation where the hands are interlaced and stretched behind the back and over the head as you fold. In the final variation taught by Iyengar, prasarita padottanasana D asks the student to grasp the big toe on each foot.