Intense Side Stretch Pose - Parsvottanasana

The intense side stretch pose or the Parsvottanasana of yoga is known to allow for certain modifications while performing this form of yoga which would include using a sandbag to allow for lifting of the heel.

Steps :

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  1. To begin with the intense side stretch pose, you should stand in the tadasana or Mountain pose of yoga and post exhaling lightly jump and place your feet between 3-5 feet apart. Thereafter, keep your hands firm on the hips on each side and turn the left foot 60 degrees to the right and the right foot 90 degrees out to the right.
  2. You should then place the right heel parallel to the left heel and by firming up your thighs try and turn the right thigh outwards. While doing so ensure that the knee cap center of the right knee is in alignment with the right ankle.
  3. Once this pose has been achieved, exhale and turn around your entire torso towards the right by moving the front of the pelvis towards the front portion of the yoga mat.
  4. Exhaling again, from the groin, let you upper body forward over your right leg and then place your fingertips on both sides of the right foot, to the ground. Thereafter , push the thighs backwards and by lengthening the upper body forward, lift using the upper part of the sternum
  5. While holding this pose, you should ensure to move the front leg hip towards the floor and in a direction away from the shoulder of that side as you continue to squeeze your outer thighs.
  6. The bottom of the big toe as well as the heel of the front foot should be firmly placed on the floor and then the front leg should be lifted deep to move towards the pelvis.
  7. The reafter you should hold your head and torso in alignment to the floor for 2-3 breath and then inhaling change the concentration to the left side.

Precautions

  • Those who are suffering from high blood pressure or from a back injury should avoid performing the full forward bend and should instead try the Ardha Parsvottanasana.

Beginner’s Tip :

A beginner’s tip the intense side stretch pose would be to remember that to start with they may try a centered pose for the arms and hands which will arise between placing your hands to the ground and keeping them tightly together at the rear your back. In this middle position, you should instead cross your arms behind your back and hold them parallel to your waist. Thereafter hold the right elbow using your left hand and the left elbow using your right hand. Thereafter, as your right leg faces forward your right arm should be brought behind your back with your left leg being brought to the front then your left arm should be brought to the front.

Benefits to Body Parts And Therapeutic Applications :

In terms of therapeutic applications, the intense side stretch pose is very effective for treating flat feet. The benefits of the intense side stretch pose are:

  • Helps in strengthening the legs
  • Stimulation of the abdominal organs
  • Stretching of the shoulders, spine, hamstrings, hips and wrists.
  • Improves digestion, sense of balance and posture.
  • Help in calming the brain

Variations :

While performing the intense side stretch pose, the person may also have a partner who can provide assistance in anchoring the heads of the thighs. This in turn will also help the individual to lengthen their spine and grind their heels thus giving an added benefit.

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