The Extended Side Angle pose,
also known as Utthita Parsvakonasana
The Extended Side Angle pose is one of the most common and popular in yoga practices.
It involves using many essential groups of muscles such as those in the legs, ankles, groin, shoulders and spine.
It also serves as a whole body wake-up call, and gives the body a very energetic feeling.
There are many different ways to get into the pose.
Let’s start with a downward facing dog.
Step the right foot to the front of your mat and roll the left heel to the floor.
Make sure the toes on the right foot are facing forward and the outer edge of your left foot is parallel to the short end of the mat.
Your right heel and left heel should align to a straight line.
If you’re a beginner, place your right elbow on your right knee.
As your practice de- pends, you can gradually extend the right fingers toward the floor, along the outside of your right foot.
Keep your bent right knee above your ankle, right shin perpendicular to the floor, and anchor the left foot strongly into the mat.
Extend your left arm at a 45-degree angle toward the front of the room.
Try your best to align your left shoulder on top of the right and bring the left arm along your ears, with the palm facing down.
Feel the stretch between your left fingertips and
left heel as you extend the fingers forward and press your left foot firmly into the earth, lengthening the whole side body.
Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Then begin the pose on the other side of your body, with your left foot at the front of the mat and your right leg stretched behind, with that foot parallel to the short end of the mat.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.