Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose

By Yoga Lily 6 years ago
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Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose

How to do Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose

Yoga classes in Milton Keynes

Parsvottanasana – Intense Side Stretch Pose or Single Leg Forward Bend is excellent for opening both the hip and shoulder joints. It provides a strong stretch for the back of the legs and greatly contracts the abdominal organs.

Tadasana, Mountain Pose

1. Tadasana, Mountain Pose

1. In Mountain Pose tuck the tailbone under and open the front of the hips. Gently draw the pubic abdomen in toward the spine. Lift the crests of the ribs away from the upper belly and allow the whole front of the body to lengthen and open. Soften the shoulders and allow the back of the neck to be long as the crown of the head lifts toward the ceiling.

2. Take your arms out to the sides and rotate the shoulders forward so the thumbs turn down.

Paschima Namaskarasana, Reverse Prayer

3. Paschima Namaskarasana, Reverse Prayer

3. Take the hands behind the back and bring the palms together (Paschima Namaskarasana, Reverse Prayer) to the middle back behind the heart. Press the outer edge of the hands into the spine as you pull into elbows back and roll open the front of the shoulders. Take a deep inhalation, enjoying the expansion available in the chest.

4. Step the left foot back. For easier balance, keep the feet with apart; otherwise, position the arch of the left foot in line with the right heel. Turn the left foot little out to the side. Square the hips and face the front.

5. On an exhalation, hinge at the hips to fold forward. Keep that chin tucked in, back of the neck long, forehead toward the right knee. Keep both legs strong and straight. Suck the right front thigh muscles in to the bone and press the outer edge of the left foot into the floor.


5. Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose

Stay here for several breaths. On each inhalation, lengthen the spine while keeping the hips Square. On each exhalation, deepen into the forward fold (Parsvottanasana).

6. Inhale to raise the upper body standing. Step the left foot forward to stand in Mountain Pose. Repeat on the other side.



Gaze: Tip of nose

Build-up Poses:

Counter Poses:


  • Place the hands on the hips
  • Hold your elbows behind the back
  • Bend the front knee slightly

Effect: Releasing


Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose Counter Poses

In yoga we use a counter pose in a sequence; For example, a twist follows a backbend to “neutralise” the spine, or a forward bend follows a backbend to help lengthen the spine and calm the nervous system.


Mountain Pose, Tadasana



Standing Half Bow Pose, Utthita Ardha Dhanurasana



East Stretch Posture (purvottanasana)


Supported Bridge Pose

Supported Bridge Pose


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 Yoga Lily

  (114 articles)

Lili has been studying and practising yoga in China & UK for 20 years, and teaching since 2007. She draws inspiration from her training within established, classical yoga systems that focus on alignment, hatha vinyasa in its gentler form, yin, yin/yang, and restorative yoga styles, pranayama and meditation; blending the roots of Chinese healing traditions into a more holistic practice. For her, practice covers not just the physical aspects of yoga but also aligning and unblocking the bodies meridian energy pathways to release Qi energy (prana) which flows through the bodies energy highway, bringing the mind, body and spirit back into balance. “I am continually humbled by my students and teachers, my aim is always to teach from the heart and from the idea that yoga is the art of living, listening and learning, to embody this deeply spiritual tradition” – Lili Chen.