Ardha Namaskar Parsvakonasana

Definition - What does Ardha Namaskar Parsvakonasana mean?

Ardha namaskar parsvakonasana is an intermediate twisting asana that calms the mind and reduces stress. The name comes from the Sanskrit, ardha, meaning “half”; namaskar, which is another term for namaste, meaning “bow to you”; parsva, meaning “side” or “flank”; kona, meaning “angle”; and asana, meaning “posture” or “pose.”

Start in lower lunge position, dropping the back knee to the ground. Bring your palms together in prayer position at your heart center with the elbows pointing outward. On an exhalation, twist toward the lead leg, placing the opposite upper arm on the thigh while holding prayer position. Gently twist the chest toward the sky and keep your gaze straight ahead or upward toward the sky.

Ardha namaskar parsvakonasana may also be referred to in English as half prayer twist.

Yogapedia explains Ardha Namaskar Parsvakonasana

Traditionally, ardha namaskar parsvakonasana is believed to activate the manipura chakra, which is the body's energy and vitality center, providing confidence, internal strength and courage. Activating the manipura chakra is also thought to dispel fear and insecurity.

Additionally, this asana provides the following benefits:

  • Increases stamina
  • Improves concentration
  • Lengthens, realigns and strengthens the spine
  • Tones the back, legs, hips and arms
  • Improves balance and coordination

Yogis with neck pain should keep the gaze forward or down to avoid twisting the neck. For the full version of the pose, or namaskar parsvakonasana, the back knee lifts off the ground as the leg straightens.

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