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Sideways Stretching Pose

Parsvottanasana is the final of the six fundamental asana. The six fundamental asana begin the process of purification in the body. Firstly they make the body flexible, enhanced flexibility enables the cleansing process to work on a deeper level. They also introduce the bandhas to the practice of asana. The six fundamental postures are:
1. Padangusthasana (Hand to big toe posture)
2. Padahastasana (Hand under foot posture)
3. Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle)
4. Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended side angle)
5. Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide leg forward bending)
6. Parsvottanasana (Sideways stretching pose)


  • Step or jump open to the right with the legs about three feet apart arms out
  • Bring hands together behind your back in prayer position (anjali mudra)
  • Inhaling turn to the right foot out and swivel left heel out turning to the right lifting the chest
  • Exhaling touch the nose to the knee (or move in that direction!) without bending the knee. Hold for 5 breaths.
  • Inhaling come up turning to the left
  • Exhale fold over left leg moving nose toward knee. Hold 5 breaths.
  • Inhale lift head and chest using core strength, stand up straight squaring off feet
  • Exhale Samasthiti

This asana reduces excess fat on the waist and legs and strengthens and tones the muscles of the legs. It helps to clear mucous blocking the respiratory tract.

In short the six fundamental asana loosen the limbs of the body which aids in movement. Done properly with proper breathing they eliminate pain that occurs in the joints and help the body to become light and healthy. Pattabhi Jois warns, “it is very important, however, that particulars of the vinyasa or method be kept in mind during practice, especially those who are weak or ill, as they are difficult to convey to aspirants. It is best to learn from a Guru and then practice them.”

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