Parsing Parsvottanasana

Intense Side Stretch Pose – one of my favourite poses as I find myself able to fold deep into it. Building a firm foundation with alignment in Parsvottanasana taught me how to cultivate a sense of freedom, which allowed me to fold forward easily, firmly. One day, I will be able to reach my forehead nearer to my ankles.
Benefits of this pose:

  • Stretches the spine, shoulders and wrists, hips and hamstrings
  • Strengthens and tones the legs
  • Stimulates the abdominal organs and aids digestion
  • Improves posture and sense of balance
  • Alleviates lower-back strain and asymmetries

How to get into Parsvottanasana:
1. Stand in Tadasana
2. Inhale, bring your hands behind your back and grab your opposite elbows or hands in reverse prayer, step your right leg back about 1 feet distance pointing to the back, left toes pointing at 45 degree angle, feet hip width apart
3. Exhale, fold from the hips, keepings your hips squared, breathe deeply for 5 breaths
4. Reach your forehead to your knee, bend slightly if required
5. Press into your palms and keep your elbows away and back
6. Drishti at nose tip
7. Inhale come up, swivel toes and exhale, repeat on the left side
8. Inhale come up and release your hands, Tadasana
Muscle actions

  • Internal rotation of the arm
  • Retraction and depression of shoulder blades
  • Flexion at the hips
  • Internal rotation of both hips
  • Pronation of feet


  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Hamstring injury

Continue stretching and find the freedom to balance!
Denise Leong
200hr YTT Weekday
(March 2015)

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