Some Yoga poses can really make you happy. Of course usually these are the poses we are already mastering and we can perform them very well. However there are also the poses that no matter we are able to do them well or not the sole effect of this pose can trigger a specific feeling. Some theories say that heart opening poses for example can release energy that was stuck and so make you feel energetic and optimistic. Furthermore there are similar theories that say that hip opener poses can release emotions that are stuck in the area of your hip. Whether the theories are true or not, my favourite pose Utthita parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose) is opening the hip and stretching the side of the body. It is opening the whole body and helps to expose your inner self – and it makes me happy!
Utthita parsvakonasana is a powerful standing pose that can be practiced in different variations. For beginners the pose can be done with the forearm on the thigh and stretching to the side. If comfortable the hand can be taken down to the outside of the foot and advanced students can take a bind when in this pose.
To stay balanced it is important to keep the back leg engaged and the outer edge of the foot is pressed firmly into the ground. When not binding the body should build a straight line from the back foot to the fingertips of the arm extended over the head, with the back foot and the hand pressing steadily down into the ground. This pose gives a feeling of grounding and extending at the same time. The upper body is twisting towards the sky and opening the chest. The hip is stretched and fully facing the side of the mat.
Utthita parsvakonasana has an option for every level of Yoga student or simply to what we are feeling up to in our yoga practice today. This is why the pose never disappoints and will always benefit your mind and body in every variation it is been practiced.