Extended Side Angle Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose, Utthita Parsvakonasana, is another standing pose that is used to strengthen the legs, knees and ankles. This pose stretches a large number of body parts including the legs, abdomen, and vertebral column. Just as with other standing poses, extended side angle engages the entire body. There are various variations of this pose and each variation promotes another level of flexibility.
Extending Side Angle Pose, or side angle pose for short, both strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles. It is therapeutic for issues with constipation, infertility, sciatica, menstrual discomfort and lower backaches. Side angle pose promotes strength throughout the entire body, therefore it is recommended that it be practiced in the beginning or middle of a standing pose sequence.
To do side angle pose, begin in mountain pose. Bring your arms to shoulder height, palms facing down. Step out your feet apart about 4 feet. Turn your back foot out facing 90 degree, front foot facing forward. Bend your front knee above your heel and your thigh is parallel to the mat. Keep your torso open and lower your front arm to the floor (if you cannot reach the floor use a brick) resting your forearm against your thigh. Reach your back arm up towards the ceiling and try to extend it over the top of your head. Turn your head to look at the ceiling. Hold this pose for a minute. To release from this pose, press firmly through the back foot, and while exhaling slowly come up to standing position with your arms at shoulder length. Turn your feet and do the same on the other side.