UTTHITA PARSVAKONASANA (extended side angle pose)

UTTHITA PARSVAKONASANA (extended side angle pose) is a standing side bend which is also a hip opener, as well as a twist.

Starting from TADASANA (mountain pose), take a big step back with your left foot so your two feet are about one leg’s length apart.

Turn the back foot in at a 90° angle and point the front foot straight forward, aligning the front heel with the inner arch of the back foot, with the back heel, or aligning the heels with the hips.

Distribute the weight evenly over both feet and turn your torso to face the side (long edge) of the mat.

Bend the front knee in the direction of 90°, making sure it does not collapse toward the center line and remains stacked above the ankle.

Inhale and raise your arms parallel to the floor, exhale, bend the front arm and rest the forearm on the front thigh.

Inhale extend the other arm up, exhale reach the arm forward in a diagonal palm facing down.

Inhale lengthen the spine, exhale rotate your chest toward the ceiling.

Gaze up and back past the inside of the upper arm or keep the gaze down or to the side.

Stay here for 5 breaths.

To come out of the pose, exhale and look down.

Inhale lead with the top hand to lift yourself up using the strength of your legs and your core muscles, straightening both legs.

Exhale step both feet back together at the front of your mat.

Repeat on the other side.