Parsva Uttanasana or Parsvottanasana

December 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Yoga Poses

In Sanskrit parsva means sideways and uttan means extension thus this pose sideways-facing forward bend. Also known as runner’s stretch or pyramid pose it is an equal parts balancing posture that deeply stretches the backs of the legs and improves balance, mental functions and circulation.

What is the technique of Parsvottanasana?

Start with standing in Tadasana. Then move your legs apart, keeping feet parallel and heels in line with each other. Turn your right foot out at a 90-degree angle and your left foot in to a 45-degree angle. Turn your body to the right without adjusting your feet. Face squarely to the side, with shoulders positioned over your hips. The weight of your body should be evenly distributed over both legs with knees locked for stability. Now inhale and raise your arms forward alongside the ears. Hold for two to four breaths. Exhale, bending forward to the halfway tabletop position. Hold for two or three breaths, then move into the full forward bend, placing your hands on or alongside your right leg. Hold in this position for between four to twelve breaths.

Recover with inhaling and reversing the path followed into the position. Then repeat to the left side.

What are the benefits of practicing Parsvottanasana?

This asana stretches and strengthens the legs, hips and abdominal organs. It tones liver and spleen and improves digestion. It also cools the brain and soothes the nerves. It helps to relieve arthritis of the neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists and menstrual pain.

What are the cautions?

If you have any recent or chronic injury to the hips, back or shoulders, do not practice this asana. People suffering with high blood pressure, abdominal hernia or some sort of heart condition should also avoid this asana. Do not practice this pose if you are experiencing dysentery or diarrhea.

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