We're finding that niiiice length in the side body this month by celebrating Extended Side Angle Pose (or Utthita Parsvakonasana) as June's Zamasana. It's a pose that gives you a stretch from the tips of your toes to your fingertips, as you create one long beautiful line with the body. This is a pose we come to often in a Vinyasa class, but there are lots of subtle adjustments and shifts that we can do to draw the most benefit from Extended Side Angle Pose.
- Begin in Warrior II - legs stepped wide, left foot facing the front and right foot turned 90 degrees to the side, arms out and palms facing down as left thigh engages and left knee lowers forward until it's at a right angle above the toes, eyes facing forward.
- Anchor the right heel (the back foot) into the floor and feel like your feet are pulling away from one another, as you lift your right (back) arm straight up to the sky.
- Flip the right palm to face your head, and as you draw the torso towards the left, bend the left elbow and rest left elbow on left knee. Extend and stretch the right arm so that you make one long line from your grounded right heel to your right fingertips.
- Stay in the pose for a few breaths. Draw right shoulder back to open the heart to the side of the room. If you have the space in your body, you might like to drop left palm to the floor, or reach down and use a block. Only do so if you can maintain that openness of the torso drawing to the right side of the room.
- From here, you might like to come into the bind. Wrap the right arm around your back, towards the left thigh. You might like to stay here, tucking the right hand into the inner thigh. Otherwise, lower left shoulder to left knee and reach left arm under the left thigh to clasp left hand with right. Draw that right shoulder back, and open through the chest. Enjoy the bind! And remember to breath!