Yoga Poses

3 Ways to Modify Utthita Parsvakonasana

Modify Utthita Parsvakonasana as needed to find safe alignment in your body.

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If your hamstrings or glutes are tight, or if you feel wobbly …

Rick Cummings

Try bringing your front elbow to your front thigh instead of putting your hand on the mat. From a wide stance, with your front heel in line with your back heel and your front knee over your front ankle, inhale and reach your arms up, creating length in your side body. Exhale and allow your pelvis to rotate. Sidebend over your front leg and place your front elbow on your front thigh. Putting your elbow on your thigh will allow you to more easily keep your legs active, helping you to balance. 

See also 15 Poses Proven To Build Better Balance

If you’re unable to place your hand on the floor (and you want to move your right arm lower than your thigh) …

Rick Cummings

Try bringing your front hand to a block on the outside of your front foot. This allows you to keep the alignment of the posture while developing a new range of mobility, particularly if taking your elbow to your thigh does not feel challenging enough for you. The block is for balance, but don’t press firmly into it. Instead, gently rest your hand on the block and keep length in your spine and energy in your legs. 

See also How to Use Yoga Props Effectively

If you struggle to keep your back heel down …

Rick Cummings

Try putting your back foot against a wall. It’s important to keep your back foot down with the outer edge of your foot anchored to the mat. This helps you keep your core active in the pose. Set up your mat against a wall. Place your back heel against the wall, and as you move into the posture, keep pressing your back heel against the wall. This also wakes up the inner thigh of your back leg. As you stand here, concentrate on lifting and engaging that leg.

See also 3 Ways to Modify High Lunge

See also 3 Ways to Modify Bridge Pose