Utthita Parsvakonasana

Definition - What does Utthita Parsvakonasana mean?

Utthita parsvakonasana refers to a variation of the standing side-stretch yoga asana that requires balance and flexibility with the legs in virabhadrasana (lead leg flexed at a 90-degree angle and the back leg straight); the lead arm rests on the lead leg or reaches to the ground, while the other arm extends overhead and forward, stretching the side of the body. The pose offers a range of physical benefits, but is also believed to relieve mental and emotional stress.

The name comes from the Sanskrit utthita, meaning “extended,” parsva, meaning "side or flank," kona, meaning "angle," and asana, meaning "posture."

Utthita parsvakonasana may also be referred to as extended side angle pose.

Yogapedia explains Utthita Parsvakonasana

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.

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