Bound Side Angle Pose with Yoga Strap
Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana
Bound Side Angle Pose, or Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana, is a standing pose that stretches the lower back and side body, opens the chest and the shoulders, and strengthens the legs and the core.
Bound Side Angle Pose with Yoga strap can be done by:
1. Start by standing upright with the arms alongside the body. Have the Yoga strap in the left hand.
2. Take a big step back with your left leg and point your right foot forward and left foot out to the left side. Try to align your heels. Press into the outside edge of the left foot, but keep the feet flat on the ground.
3. From here, start to bend your right knee deeply, so that your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee is lined up with your ankle. Open your right knee and right hip to the right side a little, so the knee lines up with the second big toe on the right foot, while keeping your left leg as straight as possible and opening your left hip out to the left side.
4. Bring your right forearm to rest lightly on your right thigh.
5. Peel back the left shoulder and bring the straight left arm over the ear, so you are creating a straight line from the outside edge of the back foot right to the finger tips.
6. To use the strap for a bind, turn the left thumb towards the back heel, bend the elbow and bring the hand holding the strap behind the back.
7. Bring the right arm underneath the front right leg from the inside of the leg. The right hand then takes hold of the strap. Walk the hands along the strap towards each other. (If the hands reach, then drop the strap and just join the hands.)
8. Stay here for at least five steady and deep breaths.
9. When you are ready to come out, release your bind, straighten your right leg, press down through your feet and step back to the front with both feet together.
10. Change sides and repeat the pose on the left side.
• Do the pose with the right forearm on the thigh and the left arm over the ear for a less intense version of this pose (without the bind).
• Move the hands towards each other or away from each other on the strap to increase or decrease intensity.
• Step the back foot closer in towards the front foot for a less intense version of this pose.
Read the following cautions to stay safe:
• Be careful not to let the right bent knee bend too far so it comes over the ankle. This puts too much pressure on the knee.
• If the bind is too uncomfortable for the shoulders, leave the forearm on the right thigh and have the left hand on the hip to modify.
• Never push too far in a pose. Find your edge, but don’t move past it. You should feel the pose working in the body, but still be able to breathe deeply and find some ease in the pose.
• If you are concerned about anything with this pose, please consult a physician about whether this practice is good for you.