Extended Side Angle Pose Utthita Parsvakonasana, (oo-TEE-tah PARZH-vuh-ko-NAHS-uh-nuh)
utthita (extended) + parsva (side or flank) + kona (angle) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Warrior Angle (Virabhadra Konasana)
Pose Type: Balancing, Stretching, Flexibility, Standing
Create one long beautiful line from heel to fingertips as you give your side body a generous stretch
Extended Side Angle Pose Fundamentals
Challenge yourself in this foundational pose that’s all about finding the balance between effort and ease. Open up the side body, tone the core, and wake up the spine. True to its name, create different geometric patterns like squares, triangles, and right angles in this posture.
Listen to your body as it lengthens and strengthens in Extended Side Angle. Equal parts grounding and energizing, build strong legs in this strong pose.
Extended Side Angle Pose Benefits
- Improves stability and balance as you ground down through the feet building strong roots to rise.
- Tones the core and firms the deeper abdominal muscles.
- Energizes the spine, creating space within each vertebra allowing for better oxygen flow.
- Lengthens the side body (obliques).
- Strengthens your legs, knees, and ankles.
How To Do The Extended Side Angle Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
1. Begin standing at the center of your mat. Spread your legs and arms out wide bringing your feet about fingertips length. Toes point forward and palms face down.
2. Turn your right foot out as you bend through that right knee. The left foot stays pointing forward. Adjust your stance as needed. Open up into Warrior II.
3. Press into the outer edge of your back foot. Your front leg should be at a 90-degree angle aligning knee over ankle, front thigh parallel to the floor.
4. Engage your core, as you spiral your torso up towards the sky. Squeeze shoulder blades down and together, lifting your chin and gazing at your palms overhead.
5. Activate strong legs. Feel your heal-to-knee connection on that front foot rooting down.
6. Plant that back foot firmly into the ground charging it from the ground up, think mountain pose legs.
7. Gently lower the right palm or fingertips down to the mat and extend the left hand overhead aligning bicep to ear. Use a block here or bring your elbow to your knee to raise the floor up to meet that front hand.
8. Inhale gracefully look up as you create a full-body connection. Stay here for 4-8 breaths then gently release and repeat on the other side.
9. For a deeper heart opener, take a bind in Extended Side Angle Pose.
Tips & Tricks:
- Engage the core and ground into the feet if you feel yourself slumping and crashing into the front shoulder.
- Roll the shoulders back and open the chest creating space between the neck and shoulders.
- Do not place all your weight on the knee by crashing into your front shoulder and elbow.
- Remember to engage the core as it protects the back.
- Remember to modify the pose by bringing the elbow to your knee or using a block to avoid forcing the pose and causing injury.
Extended Side Angle Pose variations
- Come into Extended Side Angle with your elbow resting on your knee.
- Shorten your stance if you are feeling wobbly in the knees. This way you are not pinching or crunching into the pose.
- Use a block to bring the floor up to meet you if you find yourself sinking onto that front shoulder. It will help support you to feel the full effect of the pose without strain.
- Practice bringing your palm down toward the ground for a little more length and fire!
- Take a bind by looping your arms through your lunge and revolving your chest upwards.
Precautions & Contraindications:
If you have knee pain in this pose, listen to your body and come out of it mindfully. Align the front knee over the front ankle to avoid further injury.
Neck Or Shoulder Injuries:
Avoid practicing if you have a neck injury or shoulder injury. Instead, try practicing Warrior I.
Twisted Low Lunge
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