How to do the Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)
Basically, the revolved side angle pose was designed to stretch out the whole body, from the thighs and knees to the ankles, chest, groin and shoulders.
Name in Sanskrit: Parivritta Parsvakonasana
- Builds strength and stretches the muscles in the legs, knees and ankles.
- Stretches the muscles in the spine, shoulders, groin, lungs and chest.
- Stimulates the organs in the abdomen,
- Enhances digestion and helps in elimination.
- Improves your balance.
Avoid doing the revolved side angle pose if you have high blood pressure, insomnia, or a headache.
Also, if you have an injury in your neck, do not look in the direction of the top arm while performing the pose.
Instead, look straight, while lengthening both sides of the neck equally. Another option is looking downwards.
HOW TO PRACTICE THIS ASANA
Assume the Tadasana pose. On the next exhale, step your feet about 3½ – 4 feet away from each other.
Place your hands onto your hips. Then turn the right foot outwards to about 90 degrees to the right and then your left foot about 45 to 60 degrees to the right and then the left foot with your left heel.
Firm the thighs and then rotate your right thigh out, such that the centers of your ankle and kneecap are aligned with each other.
With an exhalation,, rotate the torso towards the right, till you are in a straight line over your right leg. While doing this, raise the heel of your left foot above the floor, then make a rotation on the ball of your foot till your inner left foot is side by side with your inner right foot.
On the next exhale, bend the right knee, and if you can, make your right thigh to be parallel to the floor. Engage your left leg by strongly pushing the thigh upwards, then extend strongly with the left heel.
Simultaneously, stop the left thigh moving upwards, by firmly pressing your tailbone towards the pubis.
On the next exhale, turn towards your right, then slightly bend the torso downwards, while pressing your left hand just before (inside) your right foot.
Digging your right thumb into your your right hip, press your thigh bone downwards. Tuck the shoulder blades into the back ribs, making them firm, then slightly push your torso back, away from your inner thigh. Hold this pose for a couple of breaths.
In a case where your current position appears to be very challenging, hold it for the specified time. However, if you are able to go past this, bend the left elbow until it is outside your right knee.
Press the knee and elbow against each other. You can still go further by straightening the left elbow, then stretch your hand and reach for the floor (in a case where you cannot reach, use a block to support your hand.) Another option is, placing the right hand on the hip, or stretching it over your right ear while your palm faces down.
Then, turning your head, look towards your right arm. And as you do every time you twist, stretch out the belly, extending the spine every time you inhale, and then twisting further with each exhalation.
Hold the position for about 30 secs – 1 min.
As you come up, inhale, and exhale to release the twist. Turn your feet and do the same thing for the left, holding for the same time.
After that, go back to Tadasana.
How to do the Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrita Parsvakonasana)
As a beginner, you can perform the revolved side angle pose by supporting your heel with the use of a sandbag, leaaning on a wall, or performing it on a thick book.
MODIFICATIONS & PROPS
As described above, go from step 1 to 3, follow every single step, but place a block under your bottom hand. Move towards the outside edge of your back foot, then walk the blocck around 12- 18 inches further from your inner foot.
Slightly bend the torso further from the inner leg which is bent; like you’re performing a backbend, and on the next exhale, twist the front part of your torso, pointing it upwards.
You can push down the other palm on the sacrum, or stretch your arm over the back of the top ear.
DEEPENING THE POSE
In order to deepen the revolved side angle pose, turn your back foot around 45 – 60 degrees better than you do do most times you do other standing poses.
You may need to use a support underneath your back heel when you’re doing this pose for the first time.
With the help of a partner, you can deepen the pose. Sit facing your partner, having them in a position just in front of your right thigh and your hip.
Ask your partner to press their foot on your outer thigh, slightly above your knee, and their other foot on your right hip, making your pelvis to be within the bounds of the wall and your partner’s foot.
Now stretch out your arm towards your partner. Your partner should hold your forearm and slowly pull them in their direction, while pushing their feet against the thigh and hip. Let them pull as far as they can.
It is possible to perform the revolved side angle pose while holding your hands in a modified Anjali Mudra.
Follow the description from step 1 – 4. Press your bent elbow on the outer part of your bent knee without straightening your arm, Bend the top of your elbow, then press both palms together.
It is very likely that you won’t be able to reach your sternum with your thumbs, as in the normal Anjali Mudra, Extending your elbows, stretch out the lower elbow and reach for the floor, with the other elbow in an upward direction.
Using the thrust of the elbow on the knee, while pressing the palms together (in the same was a crank,) use it to twist the upper back further.