Monthly Archives: July 2011

Utthita Parshvakonasana & Parivrta Parshvakonasana

Utthita Parshvakonasana (Side Angle Posture) is an asana in which we learn to balance opposites and awareness in many directions.  We experience the groundedness of the earth with our feet, along with the movement of air with our hands.

Start at the front of your mat in Samasthiti.

Jump out to your right with your legs wide (the widest of all the standing asanas). Lunge deeply in your right leg, turning your back foot only slightly.  Work to keep both feet flat on the ground and trying not to collapse into the hips.  It is of special importance here to make sure that your knee does not hang over your ankle, as over time this can lead to knee pain.

Extending through the back leg all the way up the body through the left arm and out through the fingertips.

Beginners can place the right arm on the right thigh and gaze to the left palm.  The palm faces down to the floor and the left armpit faces out to the side (not up to the sky).  Keep the shoulders down and away from the ears.

Modified Utthita Parshvakonasana

In the final posture, place the right hand beside the right foot, extend the left arm over the head at an angle and gaze to the palm.

Utthita Parshvakonasana

For the correct head position, pretend as though you are smelling your armpit, but then decide not to and only turn your gaze to the palm.  Hold Utthita Parshvakonasana for five breaths.

Inhale back up to center and switch sides.

Once both sides are complete, move into Parivrta Parshvakonasana (Revloved Side Angle Posture).

Turn again to your right, lunging deeply in your right leg, but this time taking a twist in your spine.  Beginners may place the hands in prayer position, hooking the left shoulder on the outside of the right knee and gazing to the sky.

In the final posture, place the left hand on the ground beside the right foot, fingertips in the same direction as the toes.  Extend the right arm at an angle with the gaze to the right palm.  Make sure to keep the back foot flat on the ground.

Extending deeply in both directions, hold for five breaths.

Parivrta Parshvakonasana

Inhale back up to center and switch sides.

Finally, coming back to the front of your mat for Samasthiti.