January Pose of the Month 2016

January Pose of the Month 2016

Extended Side-Angle Pose
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Utthita = Extended
Parsva = Side, Lateral
Kona = Angle
Asana = Pose

This pose is accessable to students of all levels. It can be challenging as a new student and mentally challenging for the seasoned practitioner. As always, do what feels best to your body and go with it. Try some of the variations this pose has to offer as you breathe and open up your body.

Let’s Practice:

1. Begin in Warrior II. Extend your entire right side over your forward leg as you place your right forearm on the thigh. ( remember to drop your ribs down, toward the front thigh) this helps you feel the openness of the pose.
2. Reach up with your left arm and rotate your palm forward.
3. Set your gaze up to the sky referred to as your urvdhva drishti.

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4. Core Variations – simply extend the lower arm out in front, breathe deep and hold the pose to tone and sculpt your obliques.

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5. Bound Variations – Take your right arm underneath your right thigh to clasp your left hand or wrist. ( modified ~ start with a half bind or use a strap).
6. Lean back and gently lengthen your left arm toward your tailbone and back.
Revolve the chest open toward the ceiling. The drishti is up to the sky.

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7. Breathe here for 5- 10 deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

Creates flexibility in the hip joints
Improves balance
Stretches the inner thighs
Strengthens the leg muscles
Opens the chest and shoulders
Energizes the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Chakras

Contraindications:
Those with knee, hip, or back pain should begin with modifications.