Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is Extended Side Angle, or Utthita Parsvakonasana.
- Start in Warrior Two.
- Bend towards the right leg (which should be maintained with a 90-degree bend in the knee), bring your right hand to the ground inside of your right foot. Alternatively, the hand can rest on a block, or you can rest your forearm on the thigh.
- Your left hand extends from your body, sweeping over your left ear. Be careful not to over-extend to the point where the shoulder is reaching out of the shoulder socket.
- With each inhale, lengthen, and then with the exhale, twist to shine your heart towards the ceiling.
- You can look towards the ceiling, out in front of you, or towards the ground if it is more comfortable.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
- After you are done, try the pose on the other side to even out the body.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.