Pose of the Week: Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana

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Bound extended side angle pose or Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana in Sanskrit is a variation on extended side angle. By binding the hands behind the front leg, this variation allows a greater opening of the shoulders and chest, lengthening of the spine and strengthening of the leg muscles while challenging your balance.

Getting into the pose: Transition from extended side angle (feet are positioned 4 feet apart. Back toes are pointed in at a 45 degree angle while front foot is facing forward. Right knee is bent at a 90 degree angle with knee cap aligned over heel. Right hand is on the inside of your right foot and left arm extends overhead with fingertips reaching forward). Weave your right arm under your front thigh and bend your left arm behind your back to clasp the opposing wrist.

Alignment cues with right leg bent: Keep knee in alignment with ankle and moving in the direction of the right pinky toe. Keeping the spine long, rotate the chest up as you roll the top shoulder back so that it stacks over your front thigh. Draw belly towards spine engaging the abdomen. Gaze up to support the spinal twist and opening of the chest and shoulders. Keep the collarbones wide and maintain a strong base in the legs. BREATHE.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your legs and ankles

  • Builds core strength

  • Opens the hips, side waist, and shoulders

  • Improves balance

  • Stimulates digestion and circulation

  • Builds focus