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Yogasanas – Parsvottanasana

Asana Kitchen: Parsvottanasana with David Garrigues

Today we are pleased to introduce Parsvottanasana pose along with their effects and Health benefits.


Parsva means side or flank. Uttana (ut = intense, and tan = to extend, stretch, lengthen) means an intense stretch. The name implies a pose in which the side of the chest is stretched intensely.

Health Benefits

This asana relieves stiffness in the legs and hip muscles and makes the hip joints and spine elastic. While the head is resting on the knees, the abdominal organs are contracted and toned. The wrists move freely and any stiffness there disappears. The posture also corrects round and drooping shoulders. In the correct pose, the shoulders are drawn well back and this makes deep breathing easier.

  •  Stretches the legs, hips, spine, shoulders and wrists
  • Strengthens the legs and knees
  • Improves balance and digestion
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and digestion
  • Calms the mind

Technique’s for practicing Parsvottanasana Effectively

  • Stand in Tadasana. Inhale deeply and stretch the body forward.
  • Join the palms behind the back and draw the shoulders and elbows back.
  • Exhale, turn the wrists and bring both palms up above the middle of the back of the chest, the e fingers at the level of the shoulder-blades. You are doing ‘namaste’ (the Indian gesture of respect by folding the hands) with your hands behind your back.
  • Inhale and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 3 and 3½ feet. Stay in position and exhale.
  • Inhale and turn the trunk to the right. Turn the right keeping the toes and heel in a line with the trunk; turn the left foot with the leg 75 to 80 degrees to the right and keep the left foot stretched out and the leg tightened at knee. Throw the head back.
  • Exhale, bend the trunk forward and rest the head on the right knee. Stretch the back and gradually extend the neck until the nose, then the lips and lastly the chin touch and then rest beyond the right knee. Tighten both the legs by pulling the knee-caps up.
  • Stay in the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with normal breathing. Then slowly move the head and trunk towards the left knee by swinging the trunk round the hips. At the same time turn the left foot 90 degrees towards the left and the right foot 75 to 80 degrees to the left. Now raise the trunk and head as far back as you can, without bending the right leg. This movement should be done with one inhalation.
  • Exhale, bend the trunk forward, rest the head on the leg knee and gradually extend the chin beyond the left knee by stretching the neck.
  • After holding the pose from seconds to half a minute with normal breathing, inhale, move the head to the centre and the feet to their original position so that the toes point forward. Then raise the trunk up.
  • Exhale and jump back to Tadasana, releasing the hands from the back.
  • If you cannot fold the hands together behind the back, just grip the right wrist and follow the above technique.

Important Notice: Don’t round forward from the waist. Keep the back extended and hinge from the hips. If you have a back injury or high blood pressure, please avoid the full expression of this pose. You can keep your torso parallel with the floor. If you still feel some pain or feel uncomfortable please stop immediately and consult a trained practitioner for practicing better without any flaw. Also we strongly recommend to read our previous edition “Hints and Caution of Yogasanas” before practicing.

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