Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Back to Basics- Standing Poses- Extended Side Angle Pose

Extended side angle pose strengthens your legs, stretches the legs and side body and engages the core.  It helps reduce stress, energize and can stimulate digestion and elimination.

To practice the pose come to the centre of the mat in Tadasana.  Step your feet wide and turn the whole of the right leg to the right, toes of the left foot turning in about 45 degrees. Ladies should line up front and back heels, men front heel to back instep. Bring your hands to prayer position.  Inhale stretch your arms out at shoulder height, exhale bend your front knee.  Inhale bring your right elbow to your right thigh, exhale circle your left arm down then up by your left ear.  With practice you may find that you can reach a block placed behind the right foot (remember a block has 3 levels) and eventually you may not need a block at all.  To come out of the pose, inhale windmill your arms up, straighten the front knee, exhale bring your hands to your heart, turn the feet to face forward.  Repeat on the second side.

Common mistakes in this pose include:-

  • Placing too much weight on the lower elbow or hand.  The work of the pose should be in the legs and core and there should therefore be very little weight on the lower arm.
  • Allowing the front knee to collapse inwards which strains the knee.  Press your knee towards the little toe side of your foot.
  • The front knee extends further than the ankle.  If this happens it is an indication that the legs need to be taken wider.
  • If you struggle to ground the back heel, try practicing with the back heel pressed up to a wall.
  • As in Triangle pose, the top shoulder sometimes comes forward, collapsing the chest. Keep the top shoulder rolling back.

Please see the video on my YouTube Channel- 'Back to Basics- Standing Poses- Extended Side Angle Pose'-

Janet x

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