Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Parsvakonasana
Extended Side Angle Pose
Sanskrit
पार्श्वकोणासन / Parśvakoṇāsana
Pronunciation
parsh-wah-cone-AHS-uh-nuh
Meaning
parsva: “side”, “flank”
kona: “angle”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Parsvakonasana (parsh-wah-cone-AHS-uh-nuh) tones the ankles, knees, and thighs, giving a good stretch to the back, while fully opening the chest. It also relieves stiffness in the shoulders and hip joints. Minor deformities in the legs are rectified. This pose improves digestion by increasing peristaltic activity. It also helps reduce fats around the waist and hips.

The results of a study, International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences, Volume 2 Issue 3 July – Sep show that standing, supine, and DROM stretching is effective at increasing the flexibility in your hamstrings.

Muscle Focus

Extended Side Angle Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Thighs (Quadriceps)
  • Adductor Muscles
  • Calf Muscles
  • Pelvic Muscles
  • Obliques
  • Shoulders

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • Releases muscles around the knee.
  • Strengthens quads or front thigh muscles.
  • Prevents Flat Feet condition.
  • Strengthens and tones the side muscles (Obliques).

Benefits of Parsvakonasana or Extended Side Angle Pose

1. Increases Flexibility

Parsvakonasana is a great pose to improve flexibility in the body, especially in the legs, core, knees, and ankles.

2. Opens the Chest

This pose also opens the chest and shoulders, which can be beneficial if you have any stiffness in your shoulders or back.

3. Side Body Stretch

Extended Side Angle is also a great side-body stretch involving external and internal oblique muscles.

4. Stimulates Abdominal Organs

The extended side angle pose stimulates abdominal organs including the liver, pancreas, and spleen due to compression exerted on these organs by gravity. This helps improve their functioning.

5. Reduces Fats Around Waist and Hips

The twisting action of this asana massages the abdomen and helps to reduce fats around the waist and hips.

6. Tones the Body

Parsvakonasana is a great pose to tone the body. It tones various muscles of the body making you look great.

7. Improves Digestion

This asana also improves digestion by increasing peristaltic activity and through stimulation of various digestive organs.

8. Helps Relieve Stress

The deep breathing involved in this asana calms the mind and helps relieve stress. You feel lighter and healthy.

9. It Builds Endurance

This pose builds endurance of the body as it requires a lot of strength to hold this yoga posture for long.

10. Helps Improve Concentration

When practicing Parsvakonasana, you need to balance your body on one leg and then extend the other leg outwards. This helps build concentration and makes your mind calmer.  It also helps in balancing yourself better both physically and mentally.

11. Relieves Menstrual Discomfort

Regular practice of Parsvakonasana is beneficial for women suffering from painful periods or cramps during menstruation due to compression exerted by gravity on the abdominal organs which improve their functioning, giving relief from pain in case of dysmenorrhea (painful menses).

Contraindications

Those with headaches and regular migraines should avoid this pose. Those with high blood pressure should not lift their arms up, but keep their palms on their hips. If there is any groin injury take a shorter stance. Those with any neck injuries should refrain from looking upward and should look forward.

Variations

  • Parivrtta Parvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)

Preparatory Pose

  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  • Parighasana (Gate Pose)
  • Vashisthasana (Side Plank Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • When executing this pose, be mindful of your posture and make sure that you are keeping the hips squared off to the side.
  • You can use a strap for your left arm if needed in order to maintain proper alignment.
  • Remember to exhale as you lean over, and inhale as you come back up. This will help keep your balance.

How to do Extended Side Angle Pose

  • We will begin by assuming warrior-II Pose while keeping the right knee at a 90-degree angle.
  • From there, Exhale and lean your body laterally to the right. You can use your right forearm as a resting spot for your thigh while reaching the left arm overhead.
  • If you would like to deepen the pose, feel free to exhale and lower the right fingertips down to the floor. At this point, it is ideal to stretch the left arm alongside your ear so that it’s aligned with your torso.
  • You may hold this position for some time and breathe as needed.
  • Finally, Inhale and return to warrior two pose before changing sides and repeating the steps.

Mental Benefits of Extended Side Angle Pose

  • Improves concentration
  • Focus and balance
  • Calms the mind and relieves stress

Bottom Line

Extended side angle pose or Parsvakonasana is a great way of stretching every single muscle along both arms, legs, hips, abdomen while also strengthening one’s back and shoulders at the same time! Moreover, you will be able to improve your sense of balance in addition to improving digestion if done regularly.  This yoga exercise can also help reduce belly fat effectively by increasing metabolism thereby reducing weight overall when practiced on a regular basis.

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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