Yoga Central – Intense Side Stretch Pose
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Yoga Central – Intense Side Stretch Pose
By: Mercedes Aspland

This is the latest article in our yoga central series and today we will be looking at a pose known as intense side stretch pose or Parsvottanasana. We will look at how to properly carry out the pose, the benefits you can get from it and anything that you need to consider before beginning. Please read the entire article before trying the pose.

How to Carry Out the Pose

We have put together instructions on how to carry out the pose correctly however there are also a number of modifications that can be done to make the pose easier as well as deeper. These modifications will be found lower in the article.

1. Begin the pose by standing in mountain pose. As you exhale step your feet apart so that they are around a metre apart. Place you hands on your hips and turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right so that it is pointing out. At the same time also turn your left foot to the right, about 45 degrees. Make sure the heels of both your feet are lined up and as you exhale turn the right thigh out so the centre of the right knee cap is in line with the right ankle.

2. Now exhale and turn the body towards the right and at the same time square the pelvis with the front of your mat. As the left side of the hip turns you will need to press down with your left leg to keep the left heel grounded. Also press the thighs inwards as if you are holding a block between them. Press your shoulder blades against your back, lengthen the body and slightly arch your upper back.

3. As you exhale bend the body forward from the groins until it is parallel with the floor. Place your finger tips on the floor. If you cannot do this then rest your hands on blocks either side of your right leg. Press the thighs back and lengthen the body forward.

4. In this pose the front-leg hip tends to lift up toward the shoulder and swing out to the side, which shortens the front-leg side. Make sure your soften this hip towards the floor and away from the shoulder.

5. Hold this pose for a short time with the body and head parallel to the floor. Then if you can bring the body closer to the right leg. However don’t bend from the waist to get this lowering. As you gain experience you will get more flexible and be able to rest the body on the right leg. Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds then come back to the middle with an inhalation and repeat for the other side.

Tips and Precautions

If you are suffering from any back problems or you have high blood pressure then you should avoid the forward bend in this pose. You can go through steps 1 and 2 as above buy make sure your practise it near a wall. Then when you bend forward parallel to the floor you should place your hands on the wall and press against it.

To really get the maximum out of this pose when you have lowered the torso you can place your hands together behind your back. However if you find this difficult at first you can cross your arms behind your back and hold each elbow with the opposite hand.

Benefits and Focus

There are a large number of benefits to this pose and they include the fact that it can calm the brain as well as stretching out the spine, shoulders, wrists, hips and hamstrings. This pose will also strengthen the legs and stimulate the abdominal organs. Practising this pose will help to improve your posture and your balance as well as aiding your digestion. Therapeutically it can be beneficial for people with flat feet.

This article has been supplied by alternative therapies directory . You can also find more information on our Yoga page.

Article Source: www.NewAgeArticles.com

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