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Feel better with the Parsvottanasana

To complete your portfolio of yoga postures, we will present you today the Parsvottanasana, also called the intense stretching of the legs.

We will first explain you what it is exactly, and then continue with the benefits it will bring you. We will then go on with how to do it, of course, and end with our advice on how to do it well, and the mistakes to avoid.

What is the “Parsvottanasana” posture?

The Parsvottanasana is an asymmetrical standing posture. You perform an intense side stretch of your flanks, that is, your ribs and your bust which will be fully extended (length in the spine).

Literally, this long word is composed of 3 short words which all have a very specific meaning: Parshva which means flank, Uttana which means intense stretching and Asana which is a word that we regularly use on the blog, which means posture. The definition of the word is therefore unequivocal.

It is also a well-known posture, with your legs spread about one meter, the trunk bent on the front right leg and your head on your left leg. Hands in Namaste on your back (reverse prayer position), and your hips bent forward. We will see how to achieve this posture step by step.

The benefits of intense flank stretching?

On the physical level: This asymmetrical standing posture strengthens everything that touches the legs, in addition to the ankles and feet. On the wrists, shoulders and hips, you will also observe good progress on the softness. Your back and abs will be toned, in addition to your posture, which will be less arched. Finally, your breathing will be better thanks to the position of your arms.

At the psychic level: As with many yoga exercises, this one also promotes calm and concentration. It is incredibly effective in raising awareness of your posture work and developing proprioception. This anchoring exercise works the balance both physical and psychic.

At the energy level: you are in an inverted posture, your upper chakras are lower than the lower chakras, which will unify your energy circulation. The opening of the Anahata (heart) zone in flexion brings a great presence to this posture.

How to achieve this posture and the mistakes to avoid?

  • Inhale deeply and stretch the front of the body.
  • Join both hands behind the back and pull shoulders and elbows back.
  • Exhale while turning the wrists and going up the middle of the back, the fingers at the shoulder blades (Namaste)
  • Inhale and spread the legs laterally by approx 1m. Exhale.
  • Inhale and turn the bust to the right. Turn the right foot one quarter of a turn to the right, so as to align it with the bust. Turn your left foot and leg 75° to 80° to the right, keeping your left foot stretched as far as possible and your left leg stretched to the knee. Open the front of the body by bending the head a little backward.
  • While bending the bust forward, bring the head to the knee, or to the tibia if you are able. Gradually lengthen the back and neck. Stretch both legs and raise your kneecaps to where you know.
  • Keep posture for 20-30 sec. breathing normally. Rotate your chest around the hips by moving your head to the left knee.
  • Repeat the same circuit in the other direction, so as to complete the complete rotation.
  • Exhale, release hands, return to Tadasana.

How to do the Parsvottanasana?

Our tips to start with Parsvottanasana? 

This is a very good relaxation exercise and even muscle building in general, but you have to pay attention to certain points. First, as with less demanding yoga postures such as the Crescent Moon Pose or lunge pose, warm up well before starting. These are postures that can be devastating if your stressed muscles are not warm at the time of execution.We will soon talk about it, so stay connected!

Then, then in some cases it is inappropriate to practice this posture. If you have serious heart problems, for example, or back problems, you may be at risk of getting worse.

Always ask the advice of your doctor before you start, if you are not sure you can handle such efforts. Finally, the most important thing is to always go at your own pace, do not force and do not persist in the short term. Knowing how to take time is also an important point, because it does not mean standing still but doing things well.


So this is the end of this article on the Parsvottanasana also called the posture of the intense stretching of the flanks. After explaining its origins and outlines, we saw the direct benefits to your body, the best way to practice it, and some tips and contraindications to conclude.

We hope you enjoyed this article, and if that’s the case, don’t hesitate to read the other ones on our blog like the one on the Tadasana, which we let you discover.

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