Category Archives: Asanas

Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Stance Forward Bend) A, B, C & D

This asana has four parts, A, B, C & D.  All four combine a standing forward bend with an inversion, giving you the best of both worlds.  Practicing Prasarita Padottanasana is believed to create a calm mind and tranquility.  By keeping the focus on your breathing and the dristi (focal point) to your nose, it is sure to slow the mind and calm the nerves.

Start in Samasthiti and jump the feet out to the right in a medium-width stance (the width will depend on your height, but anywhere from 3 – 5 feet apart).  The feet are parallel facing forward and the hands are on the hips.

Hands on hips, feet parallel

Inhale and open the chest, exhale fold forward.  Place the hands shoulder width apart on the ground between the feet.  Inhale flatten the back creating length in the spine, gaze it towards the third eye (between the eyebrows) flat back, gazing to the third eye, exhale fold forward, working towards placing the top of the head on the mat, bending the elbows at 90 degrees.  Gaze is towards the tip of the nose.  This is Prasarita Padottanasana A.  Hold here for 5 breaths.

Prasarita Padottanasana A

 Inhale flatten the back, look to the third eye, exhale come all the way up. 

Inhale the arms out to the sides, exhale place them back on the hips, inhale open the chest and exhale fold forward.  Keep the hands on the hips and working towards placing the top of the head on the ground.  Gaze is to the tip of the nose.  This is Prasarita Padottanasana B.  Hold for 5 breaths here. 

Prasarita Padottanasana B

Inhale back up, exhale.  Reach the arms behind the back and interlace the fingers.   Inhale open the chest and exhale fold forward working to reach the arms overhead and place the hands on the ground for Prasarita Padottanasana C.  Gaze is to the tip of the nose.  Hold here for 5 breaths. 
 

Prasarita Padottanasana C

 
Inhale back up to center, exhale.  Inhale open the chest, exhale fold forward and grab the big toes with the first two fingers, hooking with the thumbs.  Inhale flat back, lengthening the spine and gazing to the third eye (between the eyebrows), and exhale fold forward.  Bend the elbows out to the sides at 90 degrees and working towards placing the top of the head on the ground.  This is Prasarita Padottanasana D, the final position in this series.  Gaze it towards the nose.  Hold here for 5 breaths.

Prasarita Padottanasana D

After 5 breaths, inhale flat back, gaze to the third eye, exhale hands to hips, inhale come all the way up, exhale back to Samastithi.
 
 

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.