#17 Parsvottanasana – Intense Side Stretch Pose

Yoga has always been seen as a fitness workout by most people. It is an ancient practice in Asia. The practice of yoga includes basic warm up exercises, asanas/ poses, pranayama and meditation.

Side stretch is a good exercise for those who aim to lose weight or maintain their body posture. Parsvottanasana is also known as ‘intense side-stretch pose’ or ‘the pyramid pose’. This asana has its name derived from the Sanskrit term ‘parsva’ which means ‘side’, ‘utta’ which means ‘intense’, ‘tana’ which means ‘to stretch’ and ‘asana’ which means ‘pose’.

“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.”

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Parsvottanasa proves to be a great fitness workout regime for those who aim to lose weight and also for those who wish to improve their body posture. Try practicing this unique asana at home and see the magical difference it leaves behind on your body!

Steps:

  • From Tadasana step your left leg back 3.5 to 4 feet (1 meter approximately). Keep your hips facing the front of your mat. Right foot pointing forward, left foot turned out about 45 degrees.
  • Line your knees up with the center of your ankles, pressing the outside of your left foot actively into the floor, engage your legs by pulling up the knee caps and thighs into the hips.
  • Place your hands in reversed prayer position behind your back.
  • Make sure that your hips are squared with the mat.
  • Inhale, lengthen your body. Exhale gently. Hinging from the hips, lean your torso forward over the right leg. Rolling the left thigh inward, while keeping your right hip back. Stop when your torso is parallel to the floor.
  • If your spine is still straight you can continue to fold over the right leg, bringing your belly towards your thighs, keeping your spine as long as possible. Your gaze is to the foot.
  • If your back begins to round, stop half way and take a few breaths.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, than change side.
  • To come out actively push through the back heel engage the core and pull the tailbone down as you come up with a straight back.
  • Repetition is the Key!

Tips:

If the hamstrings are stiff, bend the front knee slightly. As the hamstrings loosen, slowly straighten the front leg without disturbing any of the other alignments achieved in the pose.

If the prstanjali mudra is too difficult, one can hold the elbows behind the back. Alternately, hands can be on the floor on either side of the front foot to gain leverage in raising the tailbone.

Take the feet hip width distance apart to allow more room for the hips as well as for an easier balance.

Benefits:

• Cools the brain, soothes the nerves
• Strengthens abdominal organs;
•Relieves arthritis of the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists;
•Improves digestion;
•Tones liver and spleen.
•Reduces menstrual pain;
•Strengthens and stretches the legs, hips and torso.

Cautions:

•High blood pressure;
•Dysentery
•Abdominal hernia (Can arch back but don’t fold forward).
•Cardiac condition; (Avoid the initial step of arching back before folding forward)

Hope you enjoyed!

See you tomorrow!!

Namaste

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