Parsvottanasana, Intense Side Stretch Pose
How to perform Parsvottasana
Stand in Samasthiti and check from which nostril you are breathing, inhale deeply and bring your palms to your back with the hands in namaste position. Exhale.
With the next inhalation you bring the leg of your active side about a meter to the front. When you exhale, you bend forward towards your leg which is in front and rest your body on that leg. Keep your back as straight as possible and stretch your legs so that they are straight, too.
Stay in this position for 20 to 30 seconds and with inhalation come up again.
Repeat the exercise from the other side.
If you cannot bring your arms to your back in namaste pose, you can also interlace your fingers and bring your straight arms up while bending forward. They will pull your upper body further down.
Benefits of Parsvottasana
This yoga pose relieves stiffness from your legs, hips, shoulders and wrists. It brings flexibility and makes your spine feel moving smoothly again.
Through this, it is a good exercise for your joints, to prevent arthritis and to cure the pain of arthritis in the joints.
It is like a half-inverted pose, with your head hanging down and thus your blood flow into the head is increased. You get more oxygen in the head, can concentrate better and are more awake.
You practice your breathing with the pose and this close attention on your lungs and on your inside reduces stress as well as lets your lungs expand further.
Through the pressure on your intestines, you stimulate your liver and spleen as well as your digestive system.
For women this pose can relieve menstruation pain if performed regularly.
Your first intention is to bring your upper body to lie on your leg. If you cannot place your upper body on your leg yet, you can work on it. With inhalation, you stretch your upper body further down and with exhalation you bring it closer to your leg.
Take care however to keep your feet flat on the floor.
Tips and Help
If you have difficulty in bringing your hands into your back in Namaste position, you can also let your hands hang down or grab your leg.
When to Avoid this Parsvottanasana
Do not perform this pose if you are suffering from back pain or slip disk or have an injury or surgery of the spine. Also avoid this yoga pose if you have high blood pressure, abdominal hernia and diarrhea or dysentery.