Pose Feature – Extended Side Angle

Our feature pose this morning is extended side angle or (utthita parsvakonasana in Sanskrit). This has always been one of my favourite poses because of its versatility… it can be done so many different ways, and it has so many different benefits. As you can see from the picture, there are a variety of positions in which to place your hands and arms, each of which feels a bit different. In each version, the legs are stretched and strengthened, and the side of the body with the extended arm receives a nice stretch. For more of a strengthening effect, extend both arms out overhead. For more stretch, reach the lower hand down to the floor, or to a block. For a twist, add a bind with the hands (perhaps using a strap to assist). This pose can also be supported with blocks or a chair under the bent leg to make it more accessible to someone who is unable to place weight in their feet or legs. For most people, this pose is safe to practice during pregnancy (pubic symphysis disfunction would be one issue that would cause this pose to be contraindicated), especially if using a chair for support.

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