Monday, March 30, 2009

Pose of the Month: Uttitha Parsvakonasana- Extended Side Angle

I really love this pose and plug it into class sequences all the time because it helps to create space in the ribs. When pregnant women start moving into their late 2nd to early 3rd trimesters they experience sensations of fullness or compression in the ribs. At this point all of the organs are squashed together as the belly continues to blossom. Extended side angle is a great pose to practice when you want to bring some space into the side bodies. It's also extremely good for building stamina in your legs. In the picture above, Krissy is doing the modified version and I am adjusting her from the hips.

Stand in warrior II, with your arms parallel to the floor, reach them actively out to the sides and gaze over your front finger tips, shoulder blades wide, palms down.

Anchor the left (back) heel to the floor by lifting the inner left groin deep into the pelvis. Then exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. As you bend the knee aim the inner knee toward the little-toe side of the foot. If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor.

Firm your shoulder blades against the back ribs. Tilt the arms so the right for arm comes to rest on the right thigh just outside the knee. Extend your left arm straight up toward the ceiling, then turn the left palm to face toward your head and with an inhalation reach the arm over the back of your left ear, palm facing the floor. Find length through the entire left side of your body. Turn your head to look at the left arm. Release your right shoulder away from the ear. Try to create as much length along the right side of your torso as you do along the left.

Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Push both heels strongly into the floor and engage through the pelvic floor and low abs as you reach the left arm forcefully toward the ceiling to lighten the upward movement coming back to stand in warrior II.

Strengthens and stretches the legs, knees, and ankles
Stretches the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders
Stimulates abdominal organs
Increases stamina

Do try this at Home!

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