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.