COURTESY MANOA YOGA CENTER
Parsvottanasana -- Stage 1
"Parsva" means side and "uttana" means intense stretch. In this pose the sides of the chest are expanded and stretched, shoulders and wrists gain flexibility and the legs and back become supple. Those suffering from asthma could gain benefit because of the expansion of the chest.
1. Stand with the feet together (Tadasana). With an exhalation, swing the arms behind the back and join the palms with the fingers pointing upward.
This is Paschima Namaskarasana. If the shoulders or wrists are too stiff, then hold the elbows instead (Paschima Baddha Hastasana). Roll the shoulders back to open the chest.
2. Exhale and jump, spreading legs three to four feet apart.
3. Turn the left leg in about 45 degrees and turn the right leg out. Straighten the legs fully and keep the knees tight.
4. Without disturbing the legs, turn the trunk to the right. Keep turning the left side of the trunk so both sides of the hips, chest and shoulders face evenly over the right leg. Squeeze the outer hips in and keep the right hip in line with the right foot.
5. Breathe in deeply and lift the chest as you roll the shoulders back and down. Throw the head back and gaze up between the eyebrows. Note that the neck should not feel crunched. To avoid this, work to move the upper spine in and take the elbows back. Draw the buttocks down to the floor and move the tailbone into the body so that the lower back remains lengthened.
6. Hold this pose, breathing evenly, for up to 30 seconds, then repeat on 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.