Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Extended Side Angle pose is an energizing posture that lengthens the side body and strengthens the legs.

It is a great standing posture for opening the hips and also expanding the lung capacity. When we can breathe deeply, we can feel connected to the sensation of being fully present and alive in each moment. This pose helps build that connection!

It is a posture that builds stability in your legs to feel rooted and grounded to the earth.

Then, on top of this foundation, it opens the muscles between each rib to ensure better breathing while also strengthening this area as well.

This lengthening and strengthening of the side body all the way from the ankle through to the top arm extended by the ear helps to stabilize the spine on and off the mat.

How to Do Extended Side Angle Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Establish the foundation of the legs first in a Warrior 2 position. The feet are wide with the front foot pointed forward to the front edge of the mat while the back foot points to the side. Bend the front leg so the knee is stacked over the ankle, but no further.

Step 2

Then, begin to extend the side body over the front leg. If the right foot is forward, the side of the body will lean over the front leg. Place the right elbow on the thigh with the palm face upward and extend the top arm long by the ear. Draw the shoulders into the back away from the ears.

Step 3

Make sure the front leg stays externally rotated by rolling the inner thigh toward the pinky toe. Press through the outer edge of the back leg to stay strong. Keep the side body lengthened without collapsing down onto the leg. Roll the top shoulder back toward the ear so the side body does not fall forward. Breathe deeply for 3-5 breaths.

Extended Side Angle Pose Benefits

  • Strengthens calves, thighs, hips, and torso
  • Stretches muscles of rib cage and side body
  • Expands lung capacity
  • Boosts energy levels