How to do Extended Side Angle Pose & its Benefits

Every pregnant lady wants to make their childbirth pain-free and smoother.  Regular practice of yoga plays a crucial role to achieve that objective. Today, we are talking about a yoga pose which helps to reduce swelling in the feet of pregnant women in their last trimester of pregnancy and also helps in childbirth. This pose is called as Uthhita Parsvakonasana.

Utthita – Extended | Parsva – Side | Kona – Angle | Asana – Pose

This asana is pronounced as oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna, Sanskrit- उत्थित पार्श्वकोणासन. This is a beginner pose and helps to build strength throughout the body. It prepares your body for the deeper groin and leg stretches. Remember to practise this asana at the beginning or middle of the standing yoga sequences.

Benefits of Extended Side Angle Pose

  • This pose helps to increase the stamina of body
  • Helps to improve blood circulation, stimulates and tones the abdominal muscles
  • Stretches chest, groins, waist, spine, lungs, hamstrings and shoulders
  • Strengthens the ankles, knees, and legs
  • Relieves stiffness in the shoulders and back
  • Helpful during pregnancy and childbirth
  • Therapeutic for insomnia, constipation, infertility, sciatica, lower backache and menstrual discomforts

Precautions & Contradictions

Discuss with your doctor before practising this yoga pose, if you have any recent or current medical concerns. Practitioners suffering from headaches, insomnia or high or low blood pressure should avoid this pose.   Those who are suffering from a neck problem, shouldn’t turn their head upward, rather they should face either straight or down.

Steps to do a perfect Extended Side Angle Pose

  • Stand straight facing the long side of your mat. Your feet must be legs distance apart. Ensure that your heels are in line with each other.
  • Keep your left foot toes at 45-degree angle and turn right foot toes towards the short edge of the mat.
  • Now, inhale and while you exhale, bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor.

    Extended Side Angle Pose.JPG
    Photo Credit: Yoga International
  • Keep your right knee directly over your heel. Turn your left toes slightly.
  • Ensure to align the arch of your left foot with the heel of your right foot. The back leg should be straight.
  • Inhale and strengthen your lower belly, so that it will get strengthened and pulled in.
  • Now, exhale and stretch your body over the right leg and bring your right arm down.
  • Place your right hand on the floor, outside the right foot. Beginners can place the right-hand elbow on the right thigh.
  • Now, extend your left arm up towards the ceiling and then extend it over the top of your head ensuring your arm is placed just above the left ear.
  • Keep your chest, hips, and legs in a straight line.
  • Now, press the outside of the left foot firmly on the floor, and move the right side of your buttock towards your body.
  • There will be a single extension from back heel to the extended arm.
  • Turn your head towards the left arm, rotate your chest and abdomen towards the ceiling.
  • Do not put dead weight on the bent It may strain your knee joint.
  • Now, expand the thoracic chest and hold the pose as long as you feel comfortable.
  • To release, press firmly through your back foot and slowly come to the standing pose as you exhale. Ensure to extend your arm at shoulder height and turn your feet and body so that they face the same direction.
  • Relax for a few breaths and repeat the pose on the other side (left).

Variations

This is a great pose to build strength while preparing yourself for a deeper stretch. But, beginners might find it difficult to stay in correct alignment and balance. Including few variations and modifications can make their practise easier.

Beginners might find it difficult to touch their front fingertips on the ground. In this case, either you can bring your forearm to your front thigh or rest your hand on a yoga block. If its difficult to keep your back heel on the floor, then practice with your back heel against a wall. Here, as you bend your front knee during the pose, imagine that you are pressing the wall away from you with your back heel.

If you feel that your hips are too tight, then shorten your stance and straighten your front leg to feel comfortable. But, if your hips are flexible, then ensure that your front shin stays vertical. Widen your stance as per requirement to ensure that your knee does not move forward past your ankle.

Tips

Ensure to keep your stomach empty before you practice this pose. Have your meals at least four to five hours before you practice this pose so that you can expand your body fully during the practice. It is important to practice this asana with correct alignment to gain benefits. Few tips can be very handy while practising this pose.

Ensure to keep the outer edge of your back foot pressing firmly into the mat. Keep your back baby toe on the mat. Correct your foot and leg placement, keep your front knee aligned with your front heel. Do not move your knee inward, this can bring injury to your knee joint.

The key to this beautiful asana is in the breathing. You must use the breathing to open up your chest and deepen your inhalations as you relax while exhaling. The regular practice of this asana builds your stamina and help you fight any kind of pain and disease.

Always remember that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. You should always enjoy the journey while being patient and dedicated. Practice this pose slowly, maintain the correct alignment and balance and over the time you will be blessed with a disease-free body. You just need a yoga mat and lots of willing power to start this asana!

Now, don’t wait. Enjoy your yoga practice and have an awesome day! If you feel this article is helpful to you then share your experience with us by commenting below. We would be happy to hear from you!

 

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Author: Rakesh Pradhan

Rakesh Pradhan is a Yogi, Blogger, Civil Engineer and a continuous learner. When he was 14 years old, one day his neighbourhood uncle asked him about Yoga and Meditation. He got so motivated about the amazing benefits of this beautiful Yoga that he started reading Yoga books, watching videos and practising yoga poses. Now, he is helping people to learn Yoga and keep them away from stress and lifetsyle diseases.