• How to do Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)

    In this yoga tutorial, we will be discussing how to do parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose). This is a great pose for beginners because it helps to stretch the entire body. It also helps to improve flexibility and balance. This standing pose builds a sense of foundation through the centerline of your body. It energizes the whole spine and is wonderfully therapeutic.

    The best part about this pose is that it can be done virtually anywhere! All you need is a little bit of space to extend your arms and legs. Before we get started let’s look at some of the benefits of parsvakonasana.

    Benefits of parsvakonasana:

    • Stretches the entire side body
    • Stretches the groin and hamstring muscles
    • Improves general flexibility
    • Tones the thighs
    • Builds balance and stability
    • Strengthens the ankles
    • Strengthens the core
    • Energizes the spine
    • Therapeutic for the whole body

    Contraindications for parsvakonasana:

    There are a few contraindications for Parsvakonasana. Pregnant women should avoid this pose, as well as people who have knee injuries. Those with high blood pressure or migraine headaches should also avoid this pose.

    Now that we know a little bit about the benefits and contraindications of Parsvakonasana, let’s get started!

    Parsvakonasana tutorial:

    Start in mountain pose. Stand with your feet together, legs straight, and arms by your sides. Take a deep breath in.

    As you exhale, step your left foot back about four feet, then angle your left foot out to the side at a 45-degree angle.

    Bend your right knee. Stack your knee over your ankle. Don’t allow your knee to jut out beyond your toes. Ideally, you want your thigh to be parallel to the floor.

    Place your right forearm on your right thigh.

    Reach your left arm up by your ear.

    Your left leg is straight. Try to make a straight line from your left fingertips all the way down to your left foot.

    Your chest is open. Her shoulders are down your back. You’re strong through the legs.

    Look up at your left hand and hold for five breaths.

    I To come out of the pose, inhale and return to mountain pose. Step back to the left foot, and then repeat on the other side.

    That’s how you do Parsvakonasana! This pose is a great way to improve your balance and flexibility. It also helps to stretch the entire body. Watch this video with Kino to find out more about the pose.

  • Yoga Pose Tutorial: Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle

    As we continue the journey of Ashtanga yoga, we find that the practice helps us to build strength and flexibility. Using the breath and the drishti (concentration) we create a balance in the body that settles the mind with long slow breathing with the inhales and exhales in coordination with the movement. Vinyasa actually means “the marriage of breath and movement”. We continue to work the asana pose with effort and ease, never forcing the movement and always working with mindful intention.

    Today we look at Parsvakonasana “A”, also known as Extended Side Angle Pose.

    You stand with a relatively WIDE pose, about the distance of one leg with the front heel aligned with your left arch for stability.

    BEND the front knee until it is over the right ankle making the front thigh PARALLEL with the floor. Don’t worry, it takes time to get there.

    Sink deep into the front hip joint and release your torso down and externally rotate your thighs.

    Reach your upper arm overhead and draw your shoulder blades down the back while gazing at the upper fingertips.

    Eventually, you build a straight line from the knife-edge of the back foot to the tips of your fingertips.

    Please do check out the excellent YouTube Video from my teacher Kino as she walks us through the asana step by step. It’s only 3.17 minutes and really makes the asana come to life.

    Patience may one of the greatest tools in our yoga journey as we TRY to practice more and more difficult poses. JUST TRY! Some days we can catch the pose and some days we don’t. It’s all good, just continue to focus on the breath and the movement to reap the benefits. PRACTICE!!!

    By Dr. Bruce E. Barkus

    Dr. Bruce E. Barkus came to yoga, like most people, to become more flexible, get stronger and reduce stress. Low and behold he fell in love with all the other benefits yoga provides. He has been very consistent with a daily practice for the last eleven years and has come to look at it as part of his daily routine. Bruce’s certifications are Yoga Alliance RYT 500 through Asheville Yoga Center and 500 hours of Ashtanga Training for teachers with Miami Life Center. He teaches Ashtanga at Level Yoga in Vero Beach Florida and at Asheville Yoga Center. Over time, his students started asking for more details on poses and the benefits of a daily practice, so he started doing the pose of the week. There have been many that have guided his yoga practice, including Kino MacGregor, Tim Feldmann, Doug Keller, David Keil, Manju Jois, Stephanie Keach, and Lewis Rothlein. The poses he shares are primarily from the Ashtanga Primary Series as he finds the basic postures build a solid foundation for all the advanced poses.

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