Definition - What does Parsvakonasana mean?

Parsvakonasana generally refers to a variation of two yoga poses - utthita parsvakonasana and parivrtta parsvakonasana - both of which are part of the primary series of Ashtanga yoga and key components of other styles of yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit, parsva, meaning "side or flank," kona, meaning "angle," and asana, meaning "posture."

The parsvakonasana poses both require balance and flexibility, and are similar to the trikonasana poses, except that the latter are practiced with both legs straight.

Yogapedia explains Parsvakonasana

To perform utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose), the lead elbow rests on the bent leg and the trail arm reaches overhead and forward. In a more advanced version, the lead arm straightens with the hand touching the ground.

In parivrtta parsvakonasana (revolved side angle pose), the arm positions are reversed, creating a twisting in the core. In addition, the hands may be placed in a prayer position.

Traditionally, the parsvakonasana poses are believed to activate the manipura chakra, which is the body's energy and vitality center, transporting confidence, internal strength and courage. Activating the manipura chakra through the parsvakonasana variations is thought to dispel fear and insecurity.

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