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Parsvottanasana is one of the yoga asanas. It is pronounced as parsh-voh-tahn-ahsana. It is a partly balanced and partly bend pose. This pose is a midway asana between Utthita Trikonasana and Parivrtta Trikonasana. This asana also is known as Intense Side Stretch. It is also famous with the name of Pyramid Pose as it resembles a pyramid.
When you see someone bending into an asana like Parsvottanasana, the principal things you notice is the depth and the surrender of the fold. The difficult thing to look at is what happening back of the scenes. You will require a complete sense of freedom to experience Parsvottanasana by creating boundaries by alignment.
Things to Know Before Doing Parsvottanasana
Like other exercises and yoga, it is important to perform Parsvottanasana on an empty stomach and bowels. Try to keep at least 4-6 hours between meals and yoga. It will help to digest food and get your energy. Also, morning is the best time to perform this yoga. If the morning time is not convenient, then do it in the evening.
Parsvottanasana seems simple, but actually, this pose does a lot more to your body. This pose is closely linked with the rotated triangle pose.
The legs, foot foundation, and pelvis are all set up similar to the revolved triangle. Like this, you need to set up your legs and feet in a way to make your pelvis form square with back or front of the mat.
The back leg should be rotated externally and place the foot at it less or more 45-degree angle. It is similar to the rotated triangle, and the major part of your body weight should be placed over the front leg.
The hamstrings should be on both legs and getting to slow momentum as you bend forward and stretch to relax into the forward fold pose.
The unique aspect of this pose is what happens with your shoulder girdle and upper body. You will be internally turning upper arm bone at your both the shoulders to get arms behind your back. It will be similar to the reverse prayer hand pose.
The Parsvottanasana: How To Do?
- Begin with assuming Virabhadrasana. Put your legs forward and another leg behind you.
- Place your hands over hips and make your legs straight forward.
- Make your hips square to form parallel hip bones to the front side of the mat.
- Breath-in and lengthen your torso. Now, exhale and bend your waist in the front side, starting at the hips. Let your hips in the square form. As you make your torso parallel to the floor, stop flexing. While forming this position, your right hip will move forward. Ensure it is turned back and level with your left hip.
- Keep stretching your spine and be in this pose for sometimes. Regularly practicing this pose helps to increase flexibility. You can be able to bend deeply to your legs forward and reach your fingertips near the floor.
- Release the pose by slowly lifting upward and keeping your hands over your hips as you inhale. Repeat the pose for another leg.
Variations & Modifications
- Parsvottanasana can be an amazing way to stretch your hamstrings and open the shoulders. It prevents poor posture. You can try these simple changes in your asana to get the variation that suits you.
- The complete version of this asana is done with using hands your back and palm-held together in a prayer pose. If that option is not suitable for you, then try crossing your arms back of your waist and clasp both elbow with your opposite hand.
- If you are suffering from wrist or shoulder injury or you may be looking for light back bending of the pose. Then release arms front to the ground and reach behind. Let your hand rest over blocks if you are unable to rest your hand over the floor.
- Having difficulty balancing can ease by keeping feet wider than your hip-distance.
Variation: Deeper shoulder stretch
From complete pose, relax your hands and stretch your arms back to you. Now connect your fingers behind back. Breath out and hand your torso on the front tight and try to reach clasped hands upward and on the top of the head. Place your arms straight while doing this variation.
If your backside heel lifts while doing this pose, take the help of the wall to support your heel while pressing.
You can also press a yoga mat and squeeze heel into the cushioning, keep a firm, and folded blanket under your heel.
Some yoga teachers and traditions will recommend to place your back flat and wrap your torso front by dropping your head.
Note: There is no wrong or write variation, but you need to follow the different instructions given by your trainer. They will instruct you according to your comfort and body.
- Parsvottanasana will change your serenity, balance, and flexibility when done with proper alignment. Remember the following things while practicing this asana.
- Place your hips squared during the whole pose.
- Stretch your front of part of the torso from breast bone to navel.
- Manage head crown to reach front as you simultaneously stretch your tail bone back you.
- Your feet get closer together than the standing poses such as triangle pose or warrior pose. Make sure to practice comfortably and slowly.
Parsvottanasana: The Science Behind
Doing Parsvottanasana helps to create a good foundation while aligning. It will make you learn to develop a sense of freedom. As you do this yoga and bend forward near the low baseline, the same feeling is fear of falling down. But you will lose this fear and get the alignment of your outer body as it will create tension in the inner body.
Doing proper alignment helps to create muscular action from this asana helps to fall deep in this pose safely and freely.
Beginners may find it difficult to perform. It will take more time to become flexible with this pose. Place your arms cross behind back to perform with flexibility. Make sure to keep arms are parallel to the waist.
You can also hold each elbow using your opposite hand. Remember to keep your right foot forward, and the right arm should be near back.
When you do the left foot forward, the left arm should be near back.
Benefits of Parsvottanasana
The Parsvottanasana is a challenging pose and requires to stretch and bend the strength. Here are some benefits.
Stretch the whole body
As you move downward, the Parsvottanasana helps to stretch your body deeply on your shoulders, upper abdomen, chest, hamstrings, the lower part of hips. It also expands calves and deeply stretches the upper body.
Performing Parsvottanasana helps to benefits legs, feet, and ankles. It is an intense pose performed with deep stretch at your legs. It helps to firm up your feet for maintaining balance and strengthen the whole body.
Doing Parsvottanasana helps to massage your internal organs and promote your digestive health. It put some pressure over your lower abdomen, and in between the chest and thighs, the internal organs get the best massage, which helps in digestion improvement and function better.
This asana benefits to create body awareness and balance. You cannot perform this asana if your mind is wandering somewhere because this pose requires complete focus to balance while keeping body weight over your core. For this reason, you need full awareness of breathing. However, when you perform this pose with full attention, you learn to balance this pose properly.
This asana also benefits neck, elbows, wrists, and shoulders by preventing arthritis.
Arthritis is a condition of joint in which you will experience tenderness and swelling. You may notice the main symptoms, such as joint stiffness, and pain which get worse with aging.
There are basic types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid and osteoarthritis.
In the condition of osteoarthritis, the cartilage gets affected and create a problem for joints and bone movement and break down.
In the condition of rheumatoid arthritis, it affects over immune system and attacks over joints lining.
There are some other conditions like excess uric acid found in blood results in gout. The underlying disease and infections like lupus, or psoriasis also cause arthritis.
Performing Parsvottanasana in the initial stage of arthritis, help to relieve the problems of wrist, neck, shoulder, and elbows.
If you are aged person or suffering from major health conditions like heart problems, blood sugar, or blood pressure, take the advice from your doctor.
Expand spine and joints
Doing this asana helps to expand your whole legs, spine, and joints. The spine and hip muscles get a good stretch as this asana stretches your muscles.
Maintaining good posture is important. Having good posture develops flexibility, strength, and balance in the body. These all help to reduce muscle pain and promote energy. Maintaining proper posture also helps to lower the stress of ligaments, and muscles and prevent the risk of injury.
Working on to balance your body, you will be able to find those areas of imbalance and learn it to balance. Parsvottanasana helps to benefit proper posture.
Tones the liver
The Parsvottanasana helps to benefit for toning liver. As you perform this asana, you will get pressure in abdominal muscles and boost proper functions of your internal organs and tone your spleen and liver health.
The spleen is also an organ in the body. It is similar to the lymph node structure and function to filter the blood. It plays an important role in the immune system and red blood cells. This asana helps to repair damaged blood cells and reserve blood and prevent hemorrhagic shock. It also metabolizes your hemoglobin and prevents erythrocytes.
The liver also a main and large organ in the body. It filters the blood from your digestive tract before transferring it into the remaining body. The liver also detoxifies the chemicals and metabolizes the incoming drugs. It releases bile and sends it to the intestine that helps indigestion. The liver also creates proteins and prevents blood clotting.
Soothe nervous system
These days everyone goes through a hectic lifestyle due to job, relationships, or economy. Many of us struggle with never-ending the stress that slowly causes major health problems.
Doing Parsvottanasana helps to calm down your brain and prevent nervousness.
There is different and discomforting mental and physical anxiety, such as tightness, tension, and pain sensitivity. Performing yoga asanas helps to relieve mental issues. Doing yoga helps to lengthen, stretch, and balance your muscles. Doing yoga helps to release muscle stiffness and tension from the whole body.
Generally, yoga taught a sequence of strong physical exercise. Different types of yoga benefit to relieve panic disorders including, stress and pain reduction. It will also help to prevent anxious thoughts.
Some people also suffer from frequent worries and negative thought patterns, which create panic disorder. Doing visualization, meditation, focusing, and breathing helps to remove fear and worry. Doing yoga is a great way to relax your mind and body to get a sense of easiness and calmness in the brain.
Yoga is also the best way to prevent loneliness by meeting other people. Meeting new people ease isolation and lonely feeling. Practice yoga in the group and socialize for personal wellness.
Stretches the wrists
Bending and rotating wrists is helps to stretch tendons and restore the motion range in the joints. Sit over a chair with arms and let your wrist and forearms over the chair and palm down and let them hang on the edge. Flex your wrist back to the arms and take down your hand behind down. Do this 5-10 times.
Doing Parsvottanasana helps to stretch your wrist and promote blood flow in hands. It warms your ligaments and muscles and provides oxygen and nutrients as moving. It also lowers the risk of injury.
According to the Mayo clinic, doing hand stretch helps to ease pain and stiffness linked with arthritis. It also improves range of motion and joint mobility. Doing this asana relieves the stiffness and prevent discomfort.
Doing Parsvottanasana helps to expand the chest and promote deep breathing. This asana helps to stretch your lungs and expand chest muscles. You need to perform these stretches cautiously and feel the energy flow.
Reduces menstrual pain
Performing Parsvottanasana also benefits to relieve menstrual pain by stretching and strengthening legs.
Menstrual cramps are one of the painful experience in women. These cramps happen due to the contraction in the uterus to drop endometrium. Doing yoga helps to relieve the cramps during menstruation.
This pain is linked with inner thigh and back pain. Some women also suffer from nausea, headaches, dizziness, and loose stool, along with menstrual cramps. Endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and uterine fibroids also cause cramps. Using hot compression is a quick remedy to relieve pain. Regularly practicing yoga helps to relieve the pain forever.
Avoid doing this yoga if you are suffering from a hamstring injury. If you have wrist or shoulder injury, then do not do the full form of Parsvottanasana because it will be difficult for arms to reach back of the body.
You can also try practicing with resting hands over the floor or blocks. Pregnant women with back high blood pressure or injuries should take the help of a wall. Make sure to perform within your abilities and limits. Talk to your doctor about any medical concerns.
Parsvottanasana: Common Misalignments
Parsvottanasana has a big challenge that is alignment. Even some experienced yogis feel difficulty in balancing the proper rotation of thighs and core engagement.
Keeping a stable and solid foundation is important. There are still chances of strong commitment in your legs, and hips may not have proper alignment as you fold forward while doing Parsvottansana.
Necessarily, your front right tip will turn out to your side and lift upward and behind left hip roll out-twist your pelvis. Again, realign and bend your right knee. Then push down from the inner edge of the right foot, and open knees to your right till the four corners of knee face to straight forward.
Then take back slowly from the outer right thighbone, powerfully twist your right hip under as you straight leg again.
Your chest sides should stay long while Parsvottanasana. However, many people lower their bodies and rotate the waist to reach the floor.
The mystery of the Pyramid
The more you practice Parsvottanasana, the more comfortable and confident you will feel. Your ability to balance will increase. Gradually you will learn to have patience while bending front and back with more focus. It also requires dedication and practice to strengthen legs when you stretch your spine and develop endurance.
Having a partner while doing parsh-voh-tahn-AHS-anna help you to arc your head of the thighs, which in back help to ground your heels and stretch your spine. Keep your feet apart and twist your torso. Let your partner stand back of you and bend over your groins, just in the folds where the thighs connect the pelvis. The flex front into the pose.
Ask your partner to pull firm over the strap, pulling the groins deeper in the pelvis. Doing this action helps to press actively in your back heel and stretch the spine on the front thigh.