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An Easy Guide to Utthita Parsvakonasana, or Side Angle Pose

The deep stretch and lengthening of the body in Utthita Parsvakonasana, or Side Angle Pose, helps to relieve lower back ache and osteoporosis. This pose may be difficult to master, as it requires flexibility, arm strength and concentration. But, with daily practice, you’ll soon perfect it

Astavakrasana

Utthita Parsvakonasana is a fantastic sideways stretch for the legs, back, waist and groins. 

 This yoga pose will massage your abdominal organs and bowel, and it'll open up your heart, chest and shoulders. 

All you need to do is lengthen and breathe.


Watch a clip for this yoga pose 


How to do Utthita Parsvakonasana, or Side Angle Pose, in easy steps


Step 1:

Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) and jump your feet about 4 feet apart.

Step 2:

Raise your arms to shoulder height, palms down, shoulders soft.

Step 3:

Turn your right foot in 40 degrees and your left foot out to 90 degrees. Align the feet so the left heel is in line with the right instep.

Step 4:

Roll out your left thigh so the left kneecap is over the left ankle.

Step 5:

Strongly push through your feet, keeping lift in your arches by pressing the outer edge of the right foot into the mat.  

Step 6:

Exhale and bend your left knee so that the thigh and shin creates a right angle, stretch through your groins and thigh.

Step 7:

Position your left hand or fingertips outside your left foot, the left armpit forming a cap over the left knee.

Step 8:

Roll your shoulders back while turning your right ribs towards the ceiling.

Step 9:

Stretch your right arm up, reaching over the back of the right ear with palm facing the floor, lengthening through the body.

Step 10:

Gaze upwards, past the upper arm, at the ceiling.

Step 11:

Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 breaths, breathing smoothly.

Step 12:

On an inhalation, lift the torso up and come back to Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.

Astavakrasana

Yoga pose category:  Weight on hands

Level: 2

This is a hard yoga pose for advanced yogis and we have all struggled to touch the hand on the floor, to perfect this pose. Try resting your elbow on the bend leg, so that you can practice stretching and bending. As you practice the pose, you could progress onto resting your hand on a yoga block – if you’re still not comfortable placing your hand on the floor. Keep practicing! You’ll get there in the end.

Sanskrit words meaning: 

Utthita - extended

Parsva - side

Kona - angle

Asana - pose

Yoga pose health benefits: 

Like all yoga poses, Side Angle Pose has many health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions:

Arthritis

Sciatica

Constipation

Flabby tummy

Digestion

Back pain

Yoga pose contraindications: 

Don’t practice Side Angle Pose if you have any of the following health conditions:

Neck injury

Migraine

High blood pressure

Low blood pressure



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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.

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