Intense Side Stretch Pose: Parsvottanasana

Intense Side Stretch Pose: Parsvottanasana

Benefits

Intense Side Stretch Pose has many benefits:

  • Stretches the hips and hamstrings
  • Lengthens the spine
  • Relaxes the shoulders and neck
  • Stimulates digestive organs
  • Improves sense of balance
  • Calms the mind

Intense Side Stretch Pose: Parsvottanasana
Intense Side Stretch Pose: Parsvottanasana

Cautions

  • Lower back pain
  • High blood pressure

Steps

Parsvottanasana: (parsh-voh-than-AHS-anna)

Parsva: side

Ut: intense

Tan: To stretch or extend

1. Start in Warrior 1 pose, with your right leg forwards and your left leg behind you. Bring your hands to your hips and straighten your right leg. Actively square your hips, so that your hip bones are parallel with the front of your mat.

2. Find an inhale and lengthen your torso. On the exhale, fold forward from the hips, ensuring to keep your hips square. Stop when your torso becomes parallel with the floor. Your right hip will want to pull forwards, but continue to draw it back to keep it in line with your left hip. Keep your spine long.

3. Pause here for a few breaths. If you have the flexibility, you can fold in deeply towards your right leg and bring your fingertips to the floor. Continue to keep your spine long.

4. Stay here for up to 1 minute. To exit the pose, bring your hands to your hips and lift your torso as you inhale. Switch sides.

Modifications

  • If you can’t reach the floor, you can place blocks under your hands.
  • For lower back injuries, do this pose facing a wall, and place your hands on the wall to strengthen your back.
  • To intensify the shoulder opening, take reverse namaste hands: join your palms in behind your back with your fingertips facing toward your head.
Tags: Parsvottanasana, yoga pose, asana, hamstring stretch, forward bend, lengthen spine, Intense Side Stretch Pose, forward fold