Utthita Parsvakonasana

This powerful and opening pose is one of my favorites and a must have in a functional mat flow. Not only because I am an absolute alignment nerd (plus a yoga teacher ;-)) the positioning of feet and joints in Parsvakonasana is very important to gain the full and powerful potential of side-angle-pose. 

  1. Start in a Warrior II (find detailled instrutions for this pose here). Place your right arm on the front thigh.
  2. Place your right hand on the upper hip and use it to open up more from the hip joint.
  3. From here extend your right arm above your head.
  4. To open up lift up the gaze towards your upper arm. If this should be uncomfortable in your neck you can also look down.
  5. Slowly look back down again before you come back into warrior II and switch sides from here.

Tips for Yoga Beginners:

Your front foot should be in one line with the long side of your mat.

Your back foot should be in one line with the square side of your mat.

The heels are more or less in one line and the distance of your feet wide enough to feel the opening of your hips.

Feel the grounding of your feet so both of your strong legs can carry the weight of your upper body.

Mindfully push the outer side of your back foot into the floor so you can feel the outer side of your leg activated.

Keep your back leg long and active so you can feel the stretch from the outer edge of your feet all the way up to your hip and the side of your upper body.

Benefits of this Yoga Pose:

  1. Stretches the sides of the body.
  2. Enables you to breathe deeper into the chest.
  3. Opens the shoulders.
  4. Stretches hips & groins.
  5. Strengthens legs & ankles for knee support.

Tips for advanced Yogis:

If your hips are flexible and your arms long enough you can place your hand on the floor.

As a support you can use a yogablock as the extension of your front arm.

Photos & more Yoga Asanas:

Hatha Yoga – Das komplette Buch. Martina Mittag.