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Yoga Styles & Poses

ONEYOGAHOUSE

The Extended Side Angle Pose, or Utthita Parsvakonasana in Sanskrit, is a foundational yoga posture that combines strength, flexibility, and balance. This pose is particularly beneficial for stretching the sides of the body, including the obliques, ribs, and intercostal muscles, as well as opening the hips and chest. It also engages and strengthens the legs, especially the quadriceps and hamstrings, while promoting stability through the core. Practicing the Extended Side Angle Pose can enhance overall body awareness and alignment, improve posture, and aid in developing mental focus and concentration. This pose is often incorporated into various yoga sequences to prepare the body for more advanced postures and to promote a sense of grounding and energy flow throughout the body.

How do you do extended side angle?

Step 1.

Begin in Warrior 2 with your right leg forward, right foot facing the front of the mat with toes pointing forward, right knee bent to 90 degrees so the knee is directly over your right ankle, with your thigh parallel to the floor. Your back leg remains straight, grounding into the outer edge of your left foot.

Step 2.

Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms facing down, and gaze over your right hand.

Step 3.

Inhale deeply to lengthen your spine, then on the exhale lower your forearm to your right thigh, or place your right hand on the floor or a block on the inside or outside edge of your right foot.

Step 4.

Extend your left arm overhead, bringing it in line with your left ear, palm facing down, bicep wrapping towards your ear. Your left arm creates a long straight line from the outer blade of your left foot to your left fingertips.

Step 5.

Open your chest and continuously rotate your torso and right ribs slightly up towards the ceiling.

Step 6.

Lengthen the sides of your waist, and engage your core muscles to support your spine, using the strength of your legs to stay balanced.

Step 7.

Gaze can be up at the palm of your left hand, straight ahead, or down at the floor, depending on what feels comfortable for your neck. Stay for several breaths.

Step 8.

To exit, inhale and press firmly through your feet to rise back up to Warrior II. Straighten your right leg, lower your arms, and return to a neutral standing position.

Benefits of extended side angle

Encourages greater flexibility and openness in the hips and shoulders
The side stretch and rotation in the torso help to elongate and align the spine, promoting better posture.
The twist and compression of the abdomen can help stimulate digestion and improve the functioning of internal organs.
Strengthens the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves, as well as the muscles around the ankles.

Variations of extended side angle

Use a block under your right hand if you can’t comfortably reach the floor.
Take a half or full bind with the top arm for a deeper opening of the shoulders and collarbones. Right forearm can also rest on top of the front thigh.
Can lower the back knee down in line with front heel, with the back shin parallel to back edge of the mat to work on hip mobility

Other Yoga Poses to Try

  • The Downward Dog yoga pose, known as “Adho Mukha Svanasana” in Sanskrit, has a rich history rooted in ancient yoga traditions. The pose finds its origins in the practice of Hatha Yoga, a branch that focuses on physical postures to

  • The 4-Limbed Staff yoga pose tones the arms, strengthens the core, increases upper body strength, and prepares the body for arm balances and inversions.

  • The forward fold yoga pose, also known as Uttanasana, is a fundamental posture that embodies a gentle surrender and deep release within the practice.

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