YOMO Week 1 Focus Pose: Parsvottanasana

It is helpful to practice any standing pose two times on each side:

First attempt: Get into the pose and see where you are

Second attempt: Build upon the shape by trying out the suggested actions, or the below “What To Do In The Pose” instructions (see below)

Focus Pose – Parsvottanasana – Intense Stretch of the Side or Flank

First Attempt:
  1. Start in Tadasana (Mountain pose) and jump or step your feet wide (~4’)
  2. Keep your hands on your hips, or for the classical position, bring your palms together behind the back to Paschima Namaskar.
  3. Turn the right leg out 90 degrees and the left leg in, foot about at 60 degrees. Turn the hips and trunk to face the right front leg.
  4. Press your feet and lift the kneecaps, keeping the legs as in Tadasana. Lift the sides of the trunk and gaze up towards the ceiling.
  5. Maintaining the strength of the legs and the extension of your spine, fold forward from the hips until the trunk is parallel to the floor.
  6. If hands are on waist, place them underneath your shoulders onto the floor or bricks if you find the back or legs bend.
    Inhale and on the exhale, extend the trunk down the front leg, releasing the head for the final position.
  7. To come out of the pose, press your feet and steady your legs, bring hands from floor to hips once more, and tuck the tailbone as you extend the trunk forward and up.
  8. Back to vertical, turn forward and do the other side of the pose before returning to the starting position, Mountain Pose.
Second Attempt : What To Do In The Pose
  1. Roll the upper thighs in and press them back to anchor the spine.
  2. Firm or cinch the outer hips in toward the midline to create stability and balance of the pelvis.
  3. Roll the shoulders away from the ears and tuck the shoulder blades in and forward to open the front of the chest and extend the front of the trunk.

Two variations to work with and deepen your understanding of Parsvottanasana:

Variation 1 :

  1. Stand facing a wall in Tadasana.
  2. Step your right leg back 4 to 4.5 feet back.
  3. Your back foot still turns out slightly (about 60 degrees), but this entry will help keep the torso and hips more square to the wall.
  4. Extend the spine towards the wall, keeping the back concave and the hips level.
  5. Use your hands to the wall for support and feedback for your evenness and to stabilize the weight onto your feet.

Variation 2 :

  1. From Tadasana, fold forward to put hands on a chair, keeping back straight.
  2. Step one foot forward and one foot back 4’ (as above).
  3. Keep the legs firm and pull your hips back so the sides of the torso are even.
  4. Roll the upper arms inside out, tuck the shoulder blades into the chest and extend forward through the arms.
  5. With hips and legs steady and the chest open, begin to move the chair forward.
  6. The final position would find your hips, shoulders and hands in one line.
  7. To exit, pull the chair back so the hands come under the shoulders and switch your legs.
  8. After both sides are finished, return feet back together for a few breaths and tuck your tailbone to return to Tadasana.