Parsvottanasana or Intense Side Stretch Pose

Post by Liliya Rudakova,  17 May 2014 ,  Asana
Here comes our first ´asana´ blog post! Hope it will help you to get this complex and challenging posture right!

Parsvottanasana or Intense Side Stretch Pose helps us cultivate concentration and clarity of mind. In this asana we balance our body while bending forward. It tones and stretches our legs, hips, and torso, alleviates lower-back strain and asymmetries, the mind meanwhile has a chance to grow cool and steady.

Let us guide you through the basics of Parsvottanasana:

1. Start in Warrior I pose: right leg forward, left leg behind you, both of your hip points are facing forward and parallel to the front of your mat. Bring your hands to your hips and straighten your right leg. Double-check that your hips are squared.

2. Inhale deeply and lengthen your spine. On the exhale, start gradually folding yourself forward from the hips. At all times be mindful of your hips, they should remain squared. Stop when your torso is parallel to the floor. Your right hip might start pulling forwards, try to shift it back, so that it stays in line with your left hip. Your spine should stay nice and long.

Basics of Parsvottanasana, yoga dudes

3. Pause here for at least 5 breaths. If you are flexible enough, try to fold in deeper towards your right leg and bring your fingertips to the floor. With every inhale make your spine even longer, with every exhale go yet a bit deeper.

Parsvottanasana variations, yoga dudes

4. Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.To go out of the pose, bring your hands back to your hips and lift your torso as you inhale. Switch sides.

Parsvottanasana variations

Parsvottanasana like every other yoga asana comes in several variations, that help you go deeper...

  • with your behind the back - will let you control the position of your hips and allow you to go deeper

Parsvottanasana variations, yoga dudes

  • with your fingers interlaced and your hands clasped behind your back, this one will help you open your shoulders and go deeper

Parsvottanasana variations, yoga dudes

In other words – experiment! But always listen to your body and go only as far as it lets you. We all know, that yoga is not about perfection, it is about devoted practice and progress. Do not go for the most complicated asana variation at once, try not to force it – it will come naturally, when you are ready for it.

Hope you will find our post useful!

Model: Yoga Teacher Dementy Luzik 
Photographer: Nataly Shirokova
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