The Pose

 

Palisadian-Post Yoga Pose of the Month: Extended Side Angle Pose

Here is a new standing yoga pose to help you not only incorporate a healthy activity into your daily life, but also to help you keep stress at bay during the upcoming holiday season!

I had the help of Gabriella Bock, reporter for the Palisadian-Post and stylishly seven months pregnant, to show you how to do Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana). This active posture is good for everyone, with the added benefit for pregnant women of reducing swelling in the ankles and feet, which can happen as the baby grows and weight is gained.

Extended Side Angle Pose with Gabriella Bock
Rich Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Benefits of Extended Side Angle Pose:

  • Strengthens the legs.
  • Improves flexibility at the joints.
  • Opens the chest and shoulders.
  • Creates overall body muscle strength.
  • Opens ups the hips and improves balance.
  • Helps relieve stress.

Modifications:

  • If you have balance problems, try using a wall to support you. Practice this pose with your back to the wall, with the hip of your front leg touching the wall.
  • If you have knee problems, try not to bend your front knee so deeply.
  • Mothers-to-be should check with their OB/GYN before practicing this or other yoga poses during their pregnancy.
  • If you have medical conditions, talk to your doctor before practicing this or other yoga poses.

Instructions:

  1. From a standing position, step your feet approximately four feet apart, reaching your arms out parallel to the floor.
  2. Turn your left foot in slightly as you turn your right foot out to a 90-degree angle. Make sure that both right and left heels are in alignment.
  3. Bend your right knee and rest your right hand on your thigh, with your elbow bent.
  4. Raise your left hand first to the ceiling and then gently over your head.
  5. Turn your head to look upward, unless you have neck problems, where you would continue to look straight ahead, keeping both sides of the neck evenly long.
  6. Hold this pose for five deep breaths to start and then gently switch sides.

Teresa Anne Power is an internationally recognized children’s yoga expert and best-selling author of the award-winning book “The ABCs of Yoga for Kids.” She has taught yoga to both adults and kids for over 16 years, helping thousands of people develop a healthy attitude towards their body. Power has also appeared on local and national TV and radio, talking about the health benefit of yoga for kids, and is a keynote speaker. In addition, she is the founder of Kids’ Yoga Day, an international event to raise global awareness of the benefits of yoga for kids, and recently founded World Yoga Power, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make the life-changing practice of yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of age, location or finances. For more information go to abcyogaforkids.com and kidsyogaday.com.