Traditionally, utthita parsvakonasana is believed to activate the manipura chakra. This chakra is the body's energy and vitality center; activating it through utthita parsvakonasana is thought to dispel fear and insecurity.
Utthita parsvakonasana is part of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga and a key component of other styles of yoga. A related pose is parivrtta parsvakonasana (revolved side angle pose) in which the arm positions are reversed; sometimes the hands are placed in prayer position. Utthita parsvakonasana is also similar to utthita trikonasana (revolved triangle pose), except that the latter is practiced with both legs straight.