Parsvakonasana comes from the Sanskrit, parsva, meaning “side” or “flank,” kona, meaning “angle,” and asana, meaning “posture”.
Shown here in the basic version, I often ask students to rest the elbow on the thigh and play with lifting or dropping the drishti (gaze) downwards to relieve the neck. Keeping the front knee over the ankle, extend from the fingertips of the top hand all the way to the outside edge of the back foot. Then, start roll the chest open towards the sky. For a deeper version, drop the bottom hand down to a brick or to the mat and open the top arm straight up towards the sky, finding space across the chest from fingertip to fingertip. Keep anchoring the back foot into the floor by pressing into the outside edge of the foot, lifting the inner arch.
This pose is great for:
- Strengthening and stretching the legs, knees, and ankles
- Stretching the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders
- Stimulating abdominal organs
- Increasing stamina