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Extended Side Angle Yoga Pose

Extended Side Angle Yoga Pose

Extended Side Angle Yoga Pose, also known as Utthita Parsvakonasana in Sanskrit, is a powerful yoga posture that combines strength, balance, and flexibility. This dynamic pose engages multiple muscle groups and promotes a sense of grounding and expansion. To get into the Extended Side Angle pose, start in a wide-legged standing position, with your feet about 3 to 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and align the heel with the arch of your left foot. Inhale deeply, lifting your arms parallel to the floor while maintaining a strong core and engaged legs. Exhale and bend your right knee, ensuring it aligns with your ankle and doesn't go beyond your toes. Place your right hand on the outside edge of your right foot, either on the floor, a block, or your shin, while extending your left arm towards the ceiling. Engage your core, lengthen your spine, and gaze towards your left fingertips. Hold the pose for several breaths before repeating on the other side. Extended Side Angle Yoga Pose offers a wide array of benefits for both the body and mind. It strengthens the legs, particularly the quadriceps and glutes, while also engaging the core muscles for stability and balance. Additionally, this pose opens up the hips, stretches the inner thighs and groin, and increases flexibility in the spine and shoulders. It also stimulates digestion, improves circulation, and helps to release tension and stress. Regular practice of Extended Side Angle pose can enhance overall body awareness, improve posture, and cultivate a sense of calm focus. As with any yoga posture, it's crucial to listen to your body, adapting the pose to your individual needs and limits. Be aware of any discomfort or pain and modify accordingly. Remember to breathe deeply throughout the pose, allowing your breath to guide you deeper into the stretch. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced yogi, the Extended Side Angle Yoga Pose can be a wonderful addition to your practice, helping to strengthen, stretch, and invigorate your entire being.

Instructions

  • Start by standing at the front of your mat with your feet together and arms by your sides.
  • Take a wide step back with your left foot, turning your left foot out to a 45-degree angle.
  • Bend your right knee, stacking it directly above your right ankle. Keep your left leg straight and strong.
  • Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height.
  • Shift your hips towards the left as you reach your right arm forward, and place your right hand on the floor outside of your right foot.
  • Reach your left arm up towards the ceiling, creating a straight line from your left fingertips to your left heel.
  • Gently turn your head to look up towards your left hand.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, keeping your core engaged and lengthening through the crown of your head.
  • To release, press through your right foot and engage your core as you inhale to come back up to a standing position.
  • Repeat the pose on the other side.

Tips & Tricks

  • Engage your core muscles to maintain stability and balance throughout the pose.
  • Focus on elongating your spine and maintaining proper alignment from your head to your toes.
  • Keep your chest and heart open by gently rolling your shoulder blades back and down.
  • Ground down through your feet to create a stable foundation and generate strength.
  • Extend through your fingertips to create length and openness in the upper body.
  • Breathe deeply and consciously throughout the pose to enhance relaxation and focus.
  • Challenge yourself by trying different variations of the pose, such as adding a bind or transitioning into a balance pose.
  • Listen to your body and modify the pose as needed to avoid any discomfort or pain.
  • Practice regularly to improve flexibility, balance, and overall strength.
  • Use props like blocks or a strap to assist in finding proper alignment and make the pose more accessible.
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