(Extended Side Angle Pose)
» This posture falls into the clan known as standing asanas (postures). Here, the hips and legs are stretched and strengthened, and the side of the body is given a good extension. Standing asanas are the foundation of our yoga practice because it brings stability and balance to one's whole being.
1. Stand with feet together.
2. Step or jump your feet 4 to 4- 1/2 feet apart.
3. With your legs apart, point your feet, knees, trunk and head forward.
4. Turn your left toes slightly inward and turn your right leg out 90 degrees.
5. Extend your arms apart in line with your shoulders, and stretch your arms to expand the chest.
6. Keep your left leg straight as you bend the right into a square. This is Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II; see previous columns at manoayoga.com).
MANOA YOGA CENTER
Laurie Freed, student at Manoa Yoga Center, demonstrates Extended Side Angle Pose, taking her hand to the floor. If this is difficult, place your hand on a yoga block.
7. Now, keeping your legs in this position, extend the right hand and take it to the floor outside the right ankle. Press your outer left foot down firmly as you work to keep the right knee above the right ankle. The right shin should be vertical to the floor. Do not bend your knee past the ankle. If you feel compression in the right hip or are straining to get your hand to the floor, put your right hand on a high support such as a yoga block.
8. Keep your right knee pressing back against the right arm as you press the left foot down into the floor to find space in the pelvis, groins and inner legs.
9. Now press the right hand into the floor or block and straighten your arm fully. Roll the left shoulder back as you turn your chest and look up. Extend your left arm vertically from the shoulder and expand the chest. Take a couple of breaths through your nose, widening your chest as you work the arms.
10. Now, turn the left arm so that your palm faces over the right leg. Inhale and press your left foot, exhale and extend the right arm over your ear. Make sure your right arm is straight and in line with your trunk and legs. Turn your head and look up through the inside of the right arm.
11. Hold this position for a few breaths, inhale, come up and repeat to the other side.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.