Standing Side Bend Pose (Parsva Tadasana)

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Standing Side Bend Pose, Parsva Tadasana, (par-savaah taa-daa-suh-nuh)

parsva (side) + tada (mountain) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Crescent Moon Pose, Parsva Tadasana Hasta Sirsa

Pose Type: Stretching, Balancing, Standing

Difficulty: Beginner

woman doing a standing side bend yoga pose

Stretch your side body and warm up your spine with a Standing Side Bend

standing side bend Fundamentals

Short on time or needing to hit the reset button? Try a quick standing side bend right by your desk or straight from your chair. Take a break from your desk or phone and grow up through the spine and wake up the body in this foundational side bend. It will open your heart and ground you. 

Think mountain, tadasana, pose when coming into this side bend by planting strong roots into the ground as you engage the core and stretch up through all four corners of the torso. Think of a long tall spine that lifts you all the way up through the crown of your head. 

We are spending more time on devices and screens than we ever have historically. This is a great pose to counteract the effects of text neck and improve your posture. Kyphosis of the spine is what occurs when we spend too much time hunched over. Come into this pose to refresh and reset your body. 

standing side bend Benefits

  • Grow taller through the torso and spine by stretching from the ground up towards the sky.
  • Stretch through the obliques for improved posture.
  • Open up through the chest and shoulders for greater range of motion. 
  • Aids in counteracting hunched back or shoulders.
  • Strengthen the core by connecting to your center of gravity.
  • Create space between your neck and shoulders. 
an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing standing side bend Pose

How To Do standing side bend: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

1. Start in Mountain pose at the center of your mat. Ground into all four corners of the feet. Come to a neutral spine, connect to your center and grow a little taller through the spine.

2. Inhale, sweep the arms up overhead and bring the palms to touch.

3. Grab your right wrist with your left hand.

4. Grow up tall through the spine and connect to your center, if the pelvis is starting to tuck in or out see if you can bring it back into neutral alignment. 

5. Bump the hips over to the right. Gently stretch over towards the left. Stretching in the obliques. 

6. Notice if you have started to lose your foundation and ground into all four corners of the feet.

7. If your heart is curling in, open up through the right shoulder to create an expansive feeling.

8. Lift through the chest and up the crown of your head.

9. Stay here for 4-6 breaths or longer for a deeper stretch. Gently come out of the pose by rooting down into the feet and come back to Mountain pose. Repeat on the opposite side.

Tips And Tricks:

  • Energize through the fingers so they are not limp.
  • Pull the navel into the spine to connect to your center. 
  • Don’t allow the chest to cave in by revolving the chest open and not over flexing.
  • Don’t round through the spine for a greater stretch, choose sensation over how it looks.

standing side bend Pose Variation:

Standing Side Bend with a Strap

Try this pose with a strap by gripping onto a strap and holding the arms up overhead. Move the hands further apart for a deeper sensation.

woman doing a standing side bend yoga pose with a strap

Precautions & Contraindications:

Back Injuries:

If you feel any pain in the low back, honor your body and come out of the pose. 

Shoulder Injuries:

Avoid practicing if you have a shoulder injury. Practice mountain pose instead. 

Related Poses

Preparatory Poses:

Mountain pose

Side angle


Gate pose

Counter Poses:

Forward fold

Eagle Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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