There is joy in the challenge. Practicing a demanding pose on the mat and breathing through it with intention helps us to face tricky life situations off the mat. Extended Side Angle Pose is one of those poses. It helps us build stamina as it opens our side body, and its rewards transcend the physical into the spiritual realm.
Extended Side Angle Pose or Utthita Parsvakonasana (oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna)
- From Warrior II Pose (with your arms stretched out in a T shape and your right foot in front), inhale, hinge from your hips, shift your right fingertips past your right toes.
- Exhale, bring your right elbow to the inside of your right thigh.
- Extend your top arm up and over your top ear, creating one line of energy from your back heel to your top fingertips.
- Maintain a vertical front shin – keep your front knee stacked above your front ankle.
- Anchor down into the knife edge of your back foot and power through your back leg.
- Hug your naval and front ribs toward your spine to activate your core.
- Bring little to no weight in your bottom arm.
- Reach out of your heart center and hover your torso away from your bottom thigh.
- Soften your top shoulder down and away from your top ear.
- Send your gaze toward the sky.
- Tuck your tailbone toward your back heel.
- Hold and breathe for 5-10 rounds of breath, or about 1 minute.
- Repeat on the left side.
- For individuals with neck injuries, bring your gaze.
- For individuals with tight hips, shorten your stance.
- Rest your right (bottom) elbow on top of your right thigh for extra support.
- Builds strength in quadriceps femoris, glutes, hamstrings, core, knees and neck.
- Opens hips, chest and shoulders.
- Stretches groin, oblique muscles, chest, and waist.
- Strengthens stamina.
- Extended Side Angle Pose helps to build confidence, focus and concentration.
Very similar to Reverse Warrior Pose, Extended Side Angle Pose awakens mainly three energetic bodies, also known as chakras, in our physical body.
As you open and relieve the muscles in your hips, Extended Side Angle Pose activates your second chakra, also known as our sacral chakra or Svadhisthana. This chakra governs our connection, emotion, intimacy, movement, pleasure, and adventure. The essence of Svadhisthana is water and the color of this chakra is orange. When we tap into this chakra, we are more joyful and peaceful in our own existence. We are less attached to the outcome of events and more focused on the present moment.
As you ignite the muscles in your abdominal wall and your spine, Extended Side Angle activates your third chakra, Manipura. This chakra is located at the navel, just above the solar plexus. The lumbar spine (lower back), abdominal wall and internal organs (including liver, stomach, spleen, and pancreas) are key players in this chakra. The color of this chakra is yellow and the essence of this chakra is fire. “Activation of the Manipura Chakra frees one from negative energies and purifies and strengthens one’s vitality.”
Moving up from the third chakra, Extended Side Angle also acts as a gentle heart opener. As you lift from your heart center, you empower your fourth chakra, also known as Anahata. The essence of this chakra is selflessness, the element is air, and the color of this chakra is green. Anahata governs our compassion, empathy, altruism, and respect for all life. This chakra is the root of love and kindness. It’s where we shift from “me” to “we” in our energetic body.
Because Extended Side Angle Pose ignites a number of energetic bodies and challenges the physical body, a shift happens in the mind. The mind becomes quiet and focus transitions to the breath, creating a calm space for the spirit to soar.
Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Monday 2/8/16
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens class – Coach Briana – HIIT Monday
5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens class – Coach Joel – HIIT Monday
6AM Sunup Morga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle – TRX HIIT Monday
8:15AM Sunrise Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Michelle & Coach Piper – TRX HIIT Monday
9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Briana – HIIT Monday
11:00AM Cytosport Beginning/Intermediate Bodyweight Training – Coach Michelle (private class)
12:00PM Cytosport Intermediate/Advanced Bodyweight Training – Coach Michelle (private class)
2PM Cytosport Hatha Yoga – Coach Michelle D. (private class)
This is one of my very favorite positions to be in! It’s helped me heal my hips!