Mastering the Ashtanga Yoga Pose Parsvottanasana: Step-by-Step Instructions with Sanskrit Vinyasa Count
Parsvottanasana is also known as Intense Side Stretch Pose or Pyramid Pose. It is the twelveth posture in the Ashtanga Yoga Standing sequence, and comes after Prasarita Padottanasana D. Parsvottanasana is a powerful standing forward bend that offers an array of physical and mental benefits.
Benefits of Parsvottanasana:
While Parsvottanasana can be beneficial for many practitioners, there are some contraindications to be aware of. It's important to consult with a qualified yoga teacher or a healthcare professional before attempting this pose if you have any of the following conditions:
Step-by-step instructions on how to master Parsvottanasana in your Ashtanga yoga practice using the Sanskrit vinyasa count.
From Samasthiti (Equal Standing Pose)
Inhale, Ekam - Turn to face the back of your mat brining your right foot three feet in front of your left. Bring your palms together behind your back, fingers facing upwards. Make sure your hips are square. Keep your legs straight, and press down and back with your left foot as you press down and forward with your right to engage your glutes and thighs.
Exhale, Dve - Keeping your back straight, your legs engaged, your feet pushing and your head up, begin to hinge from your hips to fold forward over your straight right leg. Take five deep breaths here. Gaze to your nose, nasagrai drishti.
Inhale, Trini - Pressing your pelvis forward, lift your torso back up to standing. Be sure to keep your hands where they are and continue to engage your middle back (rhomboids and middle trapezius).
Exhale, Chatvari - Reverse your feet, square your hips and press your feet in opposite directions (tensegrity). Begin to hinge from your hips, extending your body out over your right leg. Keep your spine long and your chest lifted as you lower your torso towards your right thigh. Take five deep breaths. Gaze to your nose, nasagrai dristhi.
Inhale, Pancha - lift your torso back up to standing. Be sure you are pressing your left foot down and forward and your right foot down and backwards as you inhale and rise up. If you create enough tensegrity through your feet and hips your upper body will simply float up to stack your body weight on top of itself.
Exhale - Return your fee to parallel position, extend your arms out to the side and return to Samasthithi.
Remember to always listen to your body and modify the pose according to your own comfort level and abilities. It's essential to practice with mindfulness and respect for your body's limitations to avoid any injuries.
Tap HERE to watch a step-by-step tutorial video on Parsvottanasana
Parsvottanasana is a powerful standing forward bend that offers numerous benefits for the body and mind. With consistent practice and proper alignment, you can master this pose and add it to your Ashtanga yoga routine. Remember to always modify the pose as needed to suit your individual needs. Embrace the journey of your practice and enjoy the benefits of Parsvottanasana in your yoga journey!
Practice with The Yoga Shala
If you want to join us for LIVE classes, The Yoga Shala offers virtual and in person classes every weekday morning. Owner, Krista Shirley, also offers virtual or in person private sessions (Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship). Visit theyogashala.org for details.
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We hope you find this video series helpful to you in creating or maintaining your yoga practice!
About Krista: Krista Shirley is a level II authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher. She is deeply passionate about sharing these teachings with all who wish to learn.
If you want to join Krista in person she teaches daily classes at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida. She also offers virtual sessions in Yoga, Meditation, Breath-work, Nutrition, Life Coaching and Mentorship. Check out www.theyogashala.org for more details.
If you do not live in Central Florida and want to find an authorized teacher in your area, check out our teacher, Sharath Jois’ website, for a list of all teachers authorized and certified by his yoga centre in India.