COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
When holding Parsvottanasana, work to stretch the sides of the body evenly by pressing into the wall with the hands and pressing back in the opposite direction with the legs.
Intense Stretch of the Sides of the Body Pose (At Wall) »
"Parsva" means side and "ottan" means intense stretch. In this pose, the sides of the body are lengthened and stretched. With regular practice, the legs become flexible and shapely.
1. Stand facing the wall with hands at hip level. Spread palms evenly against the wall.
2. Pressing palms in place, step back from the wall until arms are straight and legs are vertical, with the back of the heels in line with the buttock bones.
3. Keep feet hip-width apart and knees pointed toward the wall. Balance weight evenly on both feet without turning them outward.
4. Straighten legs while tightening thigh muscles. The kneecaps will lift and hamstrings will stretch.
5. Keeping hands stretched into the wall, press legs back to stretch the spine evenly. Do not arch or hunch the back. Instead, focus on an even, long spinal extension. This is Ardha Uttanasana.
6. Now, step the right foot forward under the chest and the left foot back. Press the thighs back, away from the wall, to straighten the legs. Keep the sacrum level; do not let the hips tilt.
7. Holding the pose, work to stretch the sides of the body evenly by pressing into the wall with the hands and pressing back in the opposite direction with the legs.
8. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing evenly and steadily through the nose. Step forward to come out of the pose. Repeat on the other side, stepping the left foot forward and the right foot back.
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.