Bound Extended Side Angle Pose, also known as Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana, is a variation of Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), which provides the same benefits and bonus of open your chest and back while improving your overall body balance. Gives the added bonus of opening up the shoulders! This will build flexibility in your upper body, arms, and shoulders. It will also quickly tone your hips, butt, and thighs.
Experts agree that regular practice of this pose improves flexibility in the hips and shoulders, strengthens the legs, and increases overall body awareness.
|Known as:||Bound Extended Side Angle Pose, Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana, Bound Side Angle Pose, Baddha Parsvakonasana|
|Sanskrit name:||बद्ध उत्थित पार्श्वकोणासना|
|IAST:||Baddha Utthita Parsvakonāsana|
|Pronunciation:||buh-dah oo-tee-tuh pahrs-vuh-koh-nuh-suh-nuh|
|Type:||Standing pose, hip opener|
|Level:||Intermediate to advanced level|
|Focus:||Entire body (especially legs, hips, spine, and shoulders)|
|Total time:||10-15 seconds on each side (beginners level);|
30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (intermediate to advanced level)
|Drishti:||Directed toward the ceiling|
|Indications:||Quadriceps, hamstrings, calf, hips, inner thighs, spine, posture, flexibility, mobility, energy, circulation|
|Counterposes:||Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana), Child’s Pose (Balasana), Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana), Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)|
|Preparatory poses:||Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana), Triangle Pose (Trikonasana), Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)|
|Follow-up poses:||Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana), Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana), Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), Fish Pose (Matsyasana)|
|Contraindications:||Headaches, Insomnia, High blood pressure or low blood pressure, Neck injury|
Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana is a Sanskrit name which is made of five words – Baddha + Utthita + Parsva + Kona + Asana:
- “Baddha” = “Bound,” referring to the binding of the hands in the pose.
- “Utthita” = “Extended” or “stretched,” referring to the position of the torso in the pose.
- “Parsva” = “side” or “flank,” referring to the way your arms clasp around your torso.
- “Kona” = “Angle,” referring to the position of the front leg.
- “Asana” = “Pose” or “Posture,” referring to the physical posture or position.
So, the full meaning of the Sanskrit name Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana is “Bound Extended Side Angle Pose.”
The name describes the physical position of the body in the pose, with the torso extended and twisted to the side while the hands are bound behind the back, and the front leg is bent at an angle.
Benefits of Bound Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana
The dynamic nature of the Bound Extended Side Angle Pose, along with the deep breathing and engagement of the muscles, can help to boost energy and circulation throughout the body.
Bound Side Angle Pose focuses on several areas of the body, including legs, hips, spine, and shoulders. In addition, since this pose involves a bind, or the clasping of the hands behind the back, there is a strong emphasis on opening and stretching the chest and shoulder area.
However, the physical and mental benefits of the Bound Side Angle Pose are listed below:
- Stretches the hips, groin and hamstrings, which can help increase flexibility and mobility in these areas.
- Strengthens the legs, especially the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.
- It opens the chest and shoulders, which can help to improve posture and breathing.
- Stimulates the abdominal organs, promoting digestion and detoxification.
- Improves balance and stability by engaging the core muscles.
- Help to relieve lower back pain and sciatica by stretching and releasing tension in the lower back.
- Calms the mind and reduces stress and anxiety.
- Improves concentration and focus, which can help to promote mental clarity and productivity.
- Promotes self-awareness and mindfulness by requiring you to focus on your breath and body sensations.
- The pose can help to release pent-up emotions and tension by opening the chest and heart center.
- The pose can help to cultivate a sense of inner strength and confidence by challenging your physical and mental limits.
Bound Extended Side Angle Pose Practice Guide
Bound Extended Side Angle Pose is an intermediate to advanced level yoga pose. It requires good strength, flexibility and balance, making it challenging for beginners.
In Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana, your drishti, or gaze, is typically directed toward the ceiling. It helps you maintain your balance and focus, while also help you open up the chest and shoulder area. Keep your gaze soft and relaxed, instead of straining or squinting, as this may interfere with your breath and concentration.
To do this yoga pose correctly, it is essential to cognizance on maintaining right alignment within the legs, keeping the lower back instantly and lengthened, and locating a deep stretch in the hips and inner thighs.
You should also focus on engaging the core muscles to support your balance and stability. As you hold the pose, you can also focus on your breath, taking slow, deep inhales and exhales to help release tension and deepen your stretch.
Finally, as with all yoga poses, it’s essential to approach Bound Extended Side Angle Pose with a mindful and present attitude, focusing on the sensations and movements of your body without judgment or distraction.
- To begin, stand in Mountain Pose facing forward. Turn to the left and extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms facing down. Step your feet apart to match the width of your wrists and align your heels.
- Next, turn your right foot 90 degrees to the right so that your toes are pointing towards the top of your mat. Bend your right knee until the right thigh is parallel to the floor. If needed, adjust the width of your stance. Keep your right knee directly above your heel and turn your left toes slightly inward. Make sure the heel of your right foot is aligned with the arch of your left foot.
- Maintaining an open torso towards the left, gaze out over the top of your right middle finger. As you exhale, lower your right arm and rest your fingertips on the mat. Place your right shoulder as low as possible against your right inner thigh.
- Now lift your right hand from the floor and reach it back beneath your right hamstring. Simultaneously extend your left arm upwards towards the ceiling and then bend your elbow, bringing your left arm behind you so that the top of your left forearm rests on your back. Clasp your left wrist with the right hand. Alternatively, you can interlace your fingers or hold onto a yoga strap.
- Keep your collarbones broad, chest lifted and do not let your top shoulder drop forward. Try to stack your left shoulder above your right one. Turn your head to gaze up at the ceiling while relaxing your face and keeping your throat soft.
- Stay in this pose for 10–15 seconds on each side (beginners level), or 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side (intermediate to advanced level), while breathing smoothly and evenly. Make sure to maintain an external rotation of your front thigh and avoid letting your front knee collapse inward. Push firmly through the outer edge of the back foot.
- To exit the pose, press through the back foot to steady yourself. Exhale as you release both hands to the mat on either side of your right foot. Step back with your right foot into Downward-Facing Dog, then step forward with your left foot into Warrior II.
- Finally, repeat the same steps on the opposite side, holding the pose for the same amount of time.
- If you have difficulty balancing or getting low into the lunge, you can place a block or blanket under your back foot for support.
- If you have tight shoulders or can’t reach your hands behind your back, use a strap to connect your hands.
- One with difficulty getting your back foot flat on the ground, turn your back toes out slightly to create more stability.
Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana can provide a deep stretch to your entire body if performed with proper alignment. The following tips will help you practice this pose safely and effectively:
- Before attempting Bound Side Angle Pose, make sure you have correct alignment in Side Angle Pose first.
- Maintain a long spine from your tailbone to the crown of your head throughout the pose.
- Engage your core by drawing your belly in to stabilize the pose.
- Avoid rounding your shoulders forward. Keep your chest lifted and your collarbones broad.
- Ensure that your back foot’s outer edge stays firmly rooted to the ground, with your back baby toe pressing down.
- Align your front knee with your front ankle and prevent it from collapsing inward, which can cause strain on your knee joint. Instead, slightly draw your knee toward your baby toe.
Precautions and Contraindications
Since this pose is intermediate to advance level pose, it’s essential to consider precautions and contraindications when practicing Bound Extended Side Angle Pose. The pose can have both positive and negative effects on the body. While this yoga asana can be beneficial for many individuals, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions or injuries.
However, the precautions and contraindications of this pose are explained below:
- Headaches: Individuals with headaches should be cautious when practicing this yoga pose, as it involves bending the head forward and may increase the pressure in the head. You should keep your head in line with your spine and avoid overstretching your neck muscles. If the headache persists, the pose should be discontinued.
- Insomnia: Practicing Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana may increase the level of energy in your body, which may make it difficult for an individual with insomnia to relax and fall asleep. You should practice this yoga pose earlier in the day or avoid it altogether if it interferes with your sleep.
- High or low blood pressure: The pose may cause a sudden drop or rise in blood pressure. Therefore, someone with high blood pressure or low blood pressure should be cautious while practicing this yoga pose. You should avoid bending too far forward and keep your torso and head lifted. Individual with high blood pressure should avoid holding this pose for too long.
- Neck injury: People with neck injuries should avoid practicing Bound Extended Side Angle, as it may put too much pressure on their neck muscles and exacerbate the injury. They should consult their doctor or yoga teacher before practicing this yoga pose, it involves neck movements.