Tai Emery

Extended Side Angle (UTTHITA Parsvakonasana)

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  • Strengthens your thighs, hips, knees and ankles.
  • Stretches your groin, back, spine, waist, ankles, lungs (intercostals) and shoulders.
  • Massages and stimulates your abdominal organs.
  • Increases endurance and stamina.

Begin standing tall feet together. On the exhale step 3-4 feet apart. Lift arms to be parallel with the floor, palms facing down. Angel the left foot in slightly to the right and turn your right foot out 90 degrees. Keep the right and left heel aligned.

Contracting your thighs, rotate the right thigh outwards just enough that the centre of your kneecap follows the centerline of the right ankle. Rotate the left hip slightly forward (inward) while rotating the upper torso back to the left thus preventing the torso from facing downwards later in the pose.

As you inhale, ground the left heel to floor. Exhale and bend the right knee over the right ankle so to bring the shin perpendicular to the floor (warriors stance).

As you bend your right knee, gently connect the outer right foot into the earth so that your knee continues to follow an even, centered line over your heel.

Position the right thigh parallel to the floor if strength permits.
*Hips or thighs should never fall lower than the level of your bent knee*
Continue to ground your left heel to the floor. As you exhale, contract your abdominal and core muscles as you place the right side of the torso down on the right thigh. Resist falling heavy to the thigh, press the right fingertips or palm on the floor outside of the right foot and connecting the right knee against the inner arm.

During this phase of the pose, the abdominal can push out creating an increased arch in the lower back. Be sure to pull in the abdomen enough that the tailbone draws under and towards the pubis to prevent this unwanted arch.

Left arm reaching straight up from the shoulder to ceiling palm facing the floor, firm the shoulder blades against the back of the ribs. Imagine a string being pulled from the left heel through to the tips of the fingers, creating a natural lengthening of the body.

Gaze straight forward or turn the head to the ceiling staying even in the neck and remain evenly engaged through both feet.

Remain in pose 30-1 minute.

To exit, straighten the right leg and flow both arms horizontal to the floor. Reverse the feet and repeat for the exact same length of time on the other side.