INTENSE SIDE STRETCH POSE
HOW TO PERFORM
From standing Tadasana (Mountain pose), inhale to step right foot back and turn it out to about 45 degrees.
Keep both legs firm and straight. Exhale to ground your feet.
Inhale, spread toes and activate your legs (if doing full pose bring hands together at back into reversed prayer with palms together and fingers pointing upwards or hold the elbows).
Square your hips by moving left hip back and right hip forward.
Lift your chest, elongating the spine.
Exhale, rooting down through the legs, hinge from hips over left leg and look at left big tow for your drishti (eye focus).
To release, exhale to step your right foot forward into Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). Inhale as you come up to Tadasana.
Repeat on the other side.
• Calms the brain.
• Stretches the spine, hips, and hamstrings, shoulders and wrists (if in the full pose with arms behind the back).
• Strengthens the legs.
• Stimulates the abdominal organs.
• Improves posture and sense of balance.
• Improves digestion.
PRECAUTIONS AND CONTRADICTIONS
Blood pressure patients, or someone who generally has high blood pressure should consult their doctor before attempting to practise Parsvottanasana.
Stiffness in the neck can make this pose challenging as it can intensify the tension if not corrected.
A very weak lower back hinders going deeper into the pose and should be avoided to prevent injury. When the hamstrings are tight, they shorten and pull the pelvis into a tucked position, which flattens your lumbar curve and can cause low-back tension. To find length in the hamstrings, the pelvis needs to tilt forward so the sitting bones can lift.
Putting the hands on blocks just below the shoulders at a height that enables you to hinge at the hips (not the spine) and straighten the legs without strain or putting the hands against a wall. Holding the elbows behind the back instead of reversed prayer position.