The Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle) builds strength in the knees and ankles while stretching the shoulders, chest, lungs, spine, and groin. This yoga pose can energize the abdominal organs and improve the digestion, stamina and balance.
It’s a deep, standing twist that challenges your balance and strengthens your legs and core. This is a powerful variation on the Extended Side Angle Pose. It also added the benefits of Warrior I pose and Crescent Lunge Twist pose.
Meaning of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle Pose)
To dive deeper into the meaning of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, it is better to break it in its original terms. It is made up of four Sanskrit words, Parivrtta+Parsva+Kona+Asana:
- ‘Parivrtta‘ = ‘to turn’ around or ‘revolved’
- ‘Parva‘ = ‘side’ or ‘flank’
- ‘Kona‘ = ‘angle’
- ‘Asana‘ = ‘pose’.
In this posture, the torso is modified sideways, making an angle with the inverted leg. Based on this action, it is also called “Rotated Side Angle”, “Twisting Side Angle”, or “Side Angle Twist”.
With the torso rotated, it squeezes the abdominal organs. Sideways turning requires great flexibility and strength.
|Also known as:
|Revolved Extended Side-Angle, Pose, Parivrtta Ashta Chandrasana, Revolved Eight Point Crescent Moon Pose, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
|Standing, twisting posture
|30 to 60 seconds
At the floor
|Manipura Chakra, Svadhisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra
|Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), Balasana (Child’s Pose), Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
|Surya namaskar, Classical Surya namaskar, Utkatasana, Parivratta Uttanasana, Baddha Konasana, Gomukhasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana, Upavistha Konasana
|Garudhasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Marichiyasana, Bharadvajasana
|High or low blood pressure, insomnia, headaches
Benefits of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle Pose)
The practice of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle) is a combination of two poses, benefiting from them, these poses are:
Along with the benefits gained from these poses, additional benefits are described below:
- Physical Benefits:
- Opens the hips and groins
- Lengthens the spine
- Strengthens the ankles, calves, knees, and thighs
- Increases lung capacity
- Relieves symptoms of sciatica
- Alleviates symptoms of arthritis
- Improves balance
- Improves digestion
- Stimulates the circulatory and lymphatic systems
- Mental Benefits:
- Develops willpower
- Builds focus
- Reduces stress
- Stimulates the mind
Steps of Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle Pose)
- Start by standing in a mountain pose. Stand tall and upright with your legs turned apart enough to feel stable. Establish a solid relationship with the ground by shifting your weight distribution so that it is evenly divided between the base of your big toes, the base of your small toes, and both the left and right sides of your heel. Take a deep breath.
- While exhaling, place your hands on your hips, and move your left leg backwards.
- Keep your right foot at an angle of 45 degrees to the right and point your left foot slightly to the right. Align your heel, strain your thighs and turn your right thigh slightly outward. The middle of your kneecap should be directly above your right ankle, not bent in or out.
- Exhale and rotate your torso to the right until you are looking at your right leg. As you do this, lift your left heel up and rotate on the ball of your foot until the inside of your foot is parallel to the inside of your right foot. Inhale slowly.
- Exhale and bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground. Your right calf should be vertical at this point, with your knees directly above your heel. At the same time, press your left thigh towards the sky and stretch deeply through your left heel while tucking into your tailbone.
- Breathe in again, bend your torso to the right and lower your left shoulder towards your right foot. Lower your left arm to the right side of your leg, using the pressure of your arm against your thigh to help your shoulder bend forward. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. The objective is to move your left hand down where it meets the shoulder, but listen to your body. You may feel discomfort, but you should never pain.
- Continue stretching your torso for several breaths.
- To free yourself from this posture, exhale, raising your torso as you exhale.
- Return to the mountain posture. Stand tall and upright with your legs turned apart enough to feel stable. Establish a solid relationship with the ground by shifting your weight distribution so that it is evenly divided between the base of your big toes, the base of your small toes, and both the left and right sides of your heel.
- After resting in a mountainous posture for a few slow, full breaths, repeat this process, this time bending over your left leg.
Note: If you suffer from neck problems, look forward or down on the ground instead of looking up.
Beginners and advanced students tip
Beginners often have difficulty maintaining their balance in this posture, especially with the heel of the back lifted off the floor. To improve the balance, support your heel, either by standing it on a sandbag or a thick book, or by hanging it against the wall.
Advanced students want to put as much back heel on the floor as possible. From about 45 to 60 degrees, you rotate the back foot as much as possible for most other standing poses. Take a little support under the back heel if needed first.
Pay attention to the following four common mistakes while practicing Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, which are explained below:
- Compressing the chest: While twisting, some practitioners collapse the chest while rounding the upper back. This reduces the effectiveness of the twist and can cause strain on the neck and shoulders. To avoid this, keep the chest lifted and open, lengthening the spine while twisting.
- Leaning too far forward: It is common to lean too far forward in this pose, which puts extra pressure on the front knee and makes it difficult to maintain balance. To avoid this, focus on evenly distributing your weight between your front and back legs and keeping your hips level.
- Letting the knee sink in: Letting the front knee sink in can cause strain on the knee joint and reduce the effectiveness of the pose. To avoid this, engage the muscles of the inner thigh and press the knee outwards in line with the toes.
- Strong twisting: Strong twisting can strain the neck and shoulders and lead to injury. Instead, focus on using the breath to gradually deepen the twist. Inhale to lengthen the spine and exhale to twist a little more.
- For individuals who find it a challenge with balance, using the wall can relax the hind leg. This support will help them focus on breathing which can also be a challenge with a twist.
- Women with menstruation should avoid the practice of this mudra with pressure in the lower abdominal area and pelvis.
- Students suffering from vertigo should take care, as the cervical spine will do well during the turn, but can easily cause more damage when done in a jerk or without awareness. So these students should be vigilant, and practice the Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle Pose) under guidance.