Yoga is a complete wellness practice of the body, mind, and soul. The ancient science comprises three energies- asana, pranayama, and dhyana, and these together support us to reach towards the aim of attaining enlightenment. Asana or yoga poses are the first steps towards starting this majestic expedition. According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Asana means to be in a firm position, but relaxed. Each yoga pose is performed to avail various health benefits and is aimed at cultivating awareness, concentration, and relaxation.
Each asana has their own significance and advantages. One-of-a-kind is the Utthita Parsvakonasana.
What is Utthita Parsvakonasana?
Utthita Parsvakonasana or Extended side angle pose is designed in a way to help stretch the body parts that usually does not get extended. It is a beginner level pose and doing it in the morning on empty stomach is highly advisable. The asana is both therapeutic and challenging, a truly beautiful posture that comes with a lot of benefits.
Top five health benefits of Utthita Parsvakonasana:
Stretches the Body
As mentioned, the asana is the best yoga posture to stretch the entire body especially the chest, shoulders, waist, lungs, spine, and groin. This stretch increases the muscle flexibility, reduces the risk of injury, increases joint mobility, and prevents muscle soreness. A stretch in the spine helps to cure the back pain, minimize stress on the joint and improves blood circulation. Stretching of the shoulder improves circulation in the shoulder joint and muscles, reduces fatigue and pain. Lengthening of the waist helps you to shed extra fat from the waistline and makes it toned. A stretch to the groin alleviates groin soreness and pain.
Strengthens the Quadriceps
With a regular practice of the Utthita Parsvakonasana, it helps with the strengthening of the quadriceps. Performing the asana daily makes the front muscles of your legs strong, improves balance, and enables to manage weight easily. Strengthening of the legs, knees, and ankles benefit you a lot. It reduces pain, supports healthy joints and functioning, supports healthy cartilage, and prevent injuries from fall.
Massages Abdominal Organs
Practicing this asana stimulates the abdominal organs that help in enhancing the overall health. Our abdomen houses many vital organs like stomach, digestive system, liver, kidney, spleen, intestines, pancreas, and gallbladder, and practicing Utthita Parsvakonasana ensures the healthy function of these. It increases the blood flow, relaxes muscle tension, improves the natural detoxification process, improves digestion, releases emotion tension, reduces stress, and makes the female organs strong.
Provides Therapeutic Relief
The asana provides therapeutic relief from issues like constipation, infertility, sciatica, menstrual discomfort, low back aches, osteoporosis, and obesity. This increases the feeling of relaxation, improves confidence, balances energy, boosts the immune system, and creates a sense of body-image positivity.
As you keep practicing the asana daily, slowly you start holding the posture for a longer time. This helps in developing muscle endurance of the whole body. Your legs will work in order to support the body weight. It also activates the core to prevent tumbling down of the body, relaxes the body, and enhances a healthy overall functioning of the body.
Steps to perform Utthita Parsvakonasana
- Stand straight on the floor with the legs placed wide apart and hands kept beside the body.
- Align your heels with each other. Make sure you’re facing the wider and longer side of the mat.
- Now turn your right foot outward so that the toes can be pointed towards the short edge of the mat. Breathe out and bend the right knee making it parallel to the floor.
- This forms a 90-degree angle. Make sure that the right ankle and its knee are
- Then move your left foot inwards to form a 45-degree angle.
- Now breathe in and strengthen the lower belly and pull it upward.
- Breathe out. Slightly move the left leg backward and bend down the body towards the right and let the right hand touch the floor.
- At the same time, raise your left arm upward and then slightly stretches it towards the right.
- Make sure to align your spine and neck and your gaze should be turned towards the left arm.
- Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds. Release and repeat the same on the other side.
The asana is great for opening the stiff body muscles and is a perfect tool for treating body pain and aches. So what are you waiting for? Get ready and start practicing the asana to be strong, and healthy.