Parsvottanasana is a powerful yoga asana that helps practitioners in correcting their body posture and build inner confidence. Regular practice of this asana can enhance practitioners’ awareness of their own bodies. 

Although it is a powerful yoga asana, the Parsvottanasana steps are quite easy to perform. This asana includes bending your body forward, inverting it, and stretching various muscles. If you are interested in learning how to do Parsvottanasana, you have reached the right place. 

In this guide, we are going to cover how to do Parsvottanasana steps, its main health benefits, prep poses, precautions, and various other important points that you should know while practicing this asana. 

What does Parsvottanasana mean?

If you want to better understand how to do Parsvottanasana, you should first know its literal meaning. 

The name of this asana comes from the Sanskrit language where “Parsva” means “side”, “Ut” means “intense”, “Tan” means “stretch”, and “Asana” means “pose”. Adding all these words, we get the name Parsvottanasana. To conclude, this asana requires you to bend your body on one side and do a deep stretch. 

What Are the Benefits of Parsvottanasana?

Here is a list of some Parsvottanasana benefits that you get by practising this asana regularly:

1. It Improves Your Flexibility

Doing Parsvottanasana requires you to stretch a lot of major muscle groups in your body including the abdominal muscles, chest muscles, glutes, hamstrings, and so on. In fact, many physical therapists suggest doing the half variation of the side stretch pose called the Ardha Parsvottanasana (known as the Ardha Parsvottanasana in English) because it stretches various muscles without putting too much strain on them.

2. It Improves Body Balance & Body Awareness

Your almost entire body gets stretched in Parsvottanasana but every minute stretch is voluntary. This means that not a single muscle is stretched with the flow. If you practice this asana for a longer period of time, you will end up improving your body balance and awareness. 

3. It Improves Your Digestion

While doing the intense side stretch pose, you have to bend your body forward with your head touching your knee. If you do the Parsvottanasana right, you will intensely contract your abdominal cavity. This contraction massages the abdominal organs and aids in improving the digestive system. 

4. It Ameliorates Respiration

You need to take deep breaths and fully expand your chest to do side stretch pose yoga. By practising this asana regularly, you can increase your lung capacity and ameliorate respiration. 

5. It Calms Your Mind

To stay in the Parsvottanasana for a long period of time, you need a high level of patience and mental composure. By practising patience, you bring your nerves and brain back in control. In fact, some people experience that they are getting their sense of calmness back after adding this asana to their home workouts

6. It Helps In Treating Arthritis

As you are suffering from Arthritis, this asana can prove to be remedial for you. Not only does Parsvottanasana practice reduces body pain but it can also reduce body stiffness. Physical therapists often recommend this asana for people who have arthritis of wrists, elbows, shoulders, and neck. 

7. It Improves Your Body Posture

Adding to the list of benefits of this yoga for beginners, your body posture also gets improved by this asana. If you have drooping and round shoulders, you can do the intense side stretch pose and correct your posture easily. 

8. It Stimulates Your Reproductive Organs

If you are suffering from menstrual cramps, this asana can reduce your pain. When you bend your body forward, your abdominal region gets contracted which stimulates your reproductive organs. This gives a massaging effect and relieves the pain caused by menstrual cramps. 

Preparatory Poses

The following poses can warm up and prepare your body for side stretch pose yoga:

  • Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
  • Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
  • Tree pose (Vrikshasana)
  • Extended Triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
  • Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

What Are the Parsvottanasana Steps?

Here is an easy step-by-step guide that will help you practice side stretch pose the right way: 

  1. Spread out a yoga mat and stand on it in a mountain pose
  2. Spread your legs at a distance of 3 to 4 feet to each other. 
  3. Turn your left feet outwards and move your right feet at an angle of 45 degrees. 
  4. While doing the feet movement, raise the arms to your side, making them parallel to the floor. 
  5. Rotate your shoulders inside and bring your palms to the back, making a reverse prayer pose.
  6. Open your chest up and stretch your shoulders back. 
  7. Breathe in and try to lengthen your spine. 
  8. Breathe out, and bend your body forward. 
  9. Use the pelvis square, push the hips backwards and your body will automatically lean forward. 
  10. Now, bring your chest closer to the shin, touch your thighs with your belly. 
  11. Hold this up to a minute, breath in, and lift the torso by pressing your heels on the floor. 
  12. Get back into the position where you started this asana by releasing your arms and placing them on the hips.

Follow-up Poses

To get the best results from your workout, you can do the following poses after Parsvottanasana:

  • Standing Half Bow Pose (Utthita Ardha Dhanurasana)
  • Seated Forward Bend Pose (Paschimottanasana)
  • Reverse Corpse Pose (Advasana)
  • East Stretch Posture (Purvottanasana)
  • Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana)

Parsvottanasana Variations

Utthita Parsvottanasana (Extended Pyramid pose)

To assume this pose, you have to place your hands beyond your front leg and bend your trunk. In this variation, your spine will get stretched more than the regular pyramid pose.

Pyramid Pose with wrapped wrists

In this variation of the side stretch pose, almost all steps remain the same except for the movement of hands. In the pyramid pose, you have to join your hands behind your back to make the reverse prayer pose. But in this variation, you can simply grab your wrists with alternate hands. 


Parsvottanasana looks quite simple to practice. But when you actually do it, you feel rejuvenated and revived. Join online yoga classes and learn other balance yoga asanas that you can add to your workout along with Parsvottanasana. Stick to this balancing workout and your body posture and sense of stability will improve within a few weeks. 

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June 30, 2022

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