Utthita Parsvakonasana: Execution, Variations and Benefits

Those who practice yoga are certainly already aware of the fact that one of the primary objectives of the discipline is to find a sense of inner peace by orienting themselves towards positive energies.

Some positions, such as Utthita Parsvakonasana, represent this concept very well.

The pose that you will maintain during the execution will in fact help you to get closer and closer to the sense of maximum relaxation, making you make a real leap towards what is around you.

In this guide we will explain how to perform the extended lateral angle asana in the best way, also suggesting some useful variations to improve your skills.

You will also discover all the benefits related to the practice of this intermediate level pose which is also accessible to beginners.

In search of the origins of the asana

Like almost all asanas, the pose in this article also has its origins in the Sanskrit language; in fact, it was customary, many years ago, in India and throughout the East, to use this mysterious and fascinating idiom to give names to all positions.

The translation is as follows:

  • Utthita: esteso
  • Parsva: lateral
  • His: English

In Italian therefore, the asana is called the extended lateral angle position. Indeed, the position that the body assumes is just like that of an angle in which an upper limb and the back relax to reach, ideally, a distant pointsymbol of the goals to be achieved in one’s life.

Utthita parsvakonasana is a position defined as “polar” or asymmetric, which means that it must be performed on both sides, therefore stressing both the right and left sides of the body.

Who is it recommended for?

Anyone who spends many hours behind a desk or leads a rather sedentary lifestyle will find many benefits in performing the extended side angle pose.

Sitting for a long time on a chair or sofa inevitably leads to contracting the spine and all the muscles in general.

This pose, therefore, performs a stretching function and is able to relax and loosen all parts of the body which usually, due to the frenetic pace of everyday life, remain little stressed.

If you work in an office and spend a lot of time sitting in front of a computer, you should know that there are many types of specific yoga stretches to combat and ward off pain in the back, shoulders and upper limbs.

Taking breaks when working on the PC is very important and loosening your muscles is truly an excellent cure-all.

Come si performs Utthita parsvakonasana

lateral corner extended uni

In order to perform the pose optimally, we recommend starting from the mountain pose whose original name is Tadasana. When you have found the right stability and the appropriate concentration you can continue in this way:

  • Spreads her legs
  • Place both hands on your hips
  • Rotate your left foot to the right and then in an inward direction
  • Move your right foot about ninety degrees to the right
  • Bend your right knee 90 degrees and bring it over your right ankle (the shin should remain perpendicular to the ground)
  • Bend your torso forward
  • Bring it as close as possible to the thigh of the leg that is bent
  • Place your right hand on the outside of your right foot
  • Push your right knee towards the inside of your arm
  • Bring your left arm over your head so you can touch your left ear
  • Place your hand forward with palm facing the ground
  • Slowly and very gradually return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite part of the body

When you have reached the last step, before returning to the starting position, you should feel a strong sense of lengthening of the spine.

Remember that the position will be extremely effective as long as you always keep your chest wide during execution and your breathing is controlled and intense.

Variation with the help of the teacher

Performing an asana correctly, especially if you are a beginner, can be a difficult task to complete.

The fear of making mistakes, the fear of not being as good as your classmates and the risk of injury can compromise the execution of the pose.

Getting help from a yoga teacher can therefore be an excellent solution to overcome this type of problem. In fact, the expert will be able to support you during all the steps, correcting any errors and physically supporting you in the most difficult points.

A support of this type can also be very useful for trying to increase the intensity of the stretching, thus promoting all the benefits related to the spine.

Frequent mistakes (to avoid)

In order for the pose to be performed precisely, you need to be very careful about the position of the various parts of the body. It can therefore be very useful to pay attention to the following rather frequent careless errors:

  • Place the knee further forward than the ankle
  • Turn the bent knee inward
  • Lean on your arm, placing your weight on it
  • Keep your heel loosely anchored to the ground
  • Orient your chest towards the floor and do not keep it open with broad shoulders


The extended side angle position is very useful for anyone who suffers from back pain as the stretches that are performed can relieve pain by reducing inflammation and thus allowing the problem to be reduced.

Other physical benefits include:

  • Reduction of menstrual pain
  • Toning of all muscles
  • Abdominal stimulation
  • Stimulation of circulation
  • Increase in respiratory and lung capacity

In addition to the benefits that positively influence the body, it is noted that the execution of this asana can lead to psychological well-being and stress reduction.


Utthita Parsvakonasana is an intermediate level yoga pose that aims to have a positive effect on the back and spine of those who perform it.

The movement that is carried out contributes positively to reduce back pain eh lower back pain.

The execution, taking the right precautions, is suitable for everyone as long as no superficial or hasty errors are made in the execution. In fact, in yoga calmness, patience and listening to the teacher are fundamental elements for achieving all objectives.

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