Yoga in a GIF-y: Utthita Parsvakonasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle Pose is one of the many postures that leads to the release of several different muscle groups.

The inner thigh of the front leg, the entire side of the back leg from the toes to the fingertips as well as a subtle extension in the psoas and lower side waist.

The posture is grounded by your strong legs and feet shooting out of the pelvis and into the floor but remains uplifting with the help of the top arm and lift in the chest. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Start in a wide stride, left toes turned in 15 degrees and right toes turned out 90 degrees.

  2. To check that your stride is correct, bed your right knee to 90 degrees. When the knee is at 90 degrees, the right thigh should be parallel to the floor.

  3. Once you’ve adjusted your stance, inhale and reach both hands up to the ceiling.

  4. As you exhale, bend your right knee towards 90 degrees and bring your arms parallel to the floor.

  5. You have the option to bring your right elbow onto your right thigh or on a block outside your right leg. If using the block, check that it’s placed underneath your right shoulder.

  6. On an inhale sweep the left arm next to your left year.

  7. The head and neck are in line with the rest of the spine and left arm parallel to the spine.

  8. Make sure the right knee isn’t dropping in or out but that it is pointing in the same direction as the right toes.

  9. Keep the left leg strong.

  10. Relax the shoulders away from the ears.

  11. Stay here for 5 cycles of breath.

  12. On an inhale, use the strength of your left arm and leg to pull you back up to a standing position.

  13. Turn the right toes in until the toes are 15 degrees towards the left foot and the left toes out 90 degrees.

  14. Repeat steps 3 to 12 on the left side.