parsva = side
uttana = stretched out
asana = pose
1. With your hands on your hips, step your feet 2 ½ to 3 feet apart. Keeping your heels in line with each other, turn your right foot out 90 degrees and left heel away about 45 degrees.
2. Draw your left hip forward and your right hip back so that your hips are squared. Root down through all three points of both feet, bringing a bit more awareness to the outer left heel and the mound of your right big toe. Feel your connection to the earth.
3. Strengthen your legs by drawing up with your knee caps and hugging the outer thighs toward the inner thighs. Feel strength in your inner legs.
4. Take your arms back and bring the palms together in reverse prayer position (palms together, fingers pointing toward the ceiling). Be sure to draw the shoulder blades together and the shoulders back and down.
5. On an inhalation, lift up with your spine and the sides of your waist. On an exhalation, fold forward from the hip creases. Keep your feet grounded, your legs strong, your hips balanced, your torso centered, and your shoulders drawing back and down.
6. Hold for 3 – 5 breaths. Inhale up to center. Repeat left side.
As we are first learning this pose, it can be difficult to maintain all of the intricate alignments. Sometimes we lose our balance, our hips shift and the front leg’s hip drops down, and our palms don’t want to stay together. If you find this happening to you try these variations:
1. Bring a block to either side of your right foot. Keep your hands on your hips when you fold and then bring the hands to the blocks. Work here to find balance in your hips, drawing back with the right hip and forward with the left.
2. Instead of taking your hands into prayer position, bring the arms behind your back and hold your elbows. Remember to keep the shoulders drawing back and down as you fold.
Stretches legs, hips, spine, shoulders, and wrists; strengthens legs; tones abdominal organs; develops balance and stamina; improves circulation; quiets the mind; relieves anxiety and nervous tension.