Week I :: TriYogaSchool :: Year II
Our pose for the week is Parsvottanasana or Intense Side Stretch Pose
🔻 At its most basic level, Parsvottanasana (PVT) is a forward fold - or a stretch for the back body. When we stretch one side, we almost always need to engage the opposite side for stability. In this pose the core, and the front quadricep are quite active to deepen the fold.
🔻 The full expression of PVT adds a shoulder stretch + spinal extension to the fold. Be forewarned, this can reduce your ability/awareness to engage the core - but you still must do it!
POSE NOTES :
• In my video, I enter the pose in the traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa format. From the top of your mat, take a moderate step back with your right leg. Keep your back heel grounded and in line with the heel of the front foot.
• Bring your fingertips to touch behind your back. Try to close your hands together, beginning with the pinky fingers. You may not get your palms to touch & that is OK! Slowly slide your pinky fingers up your spine as your shoulders & wrists allow.
• Open your chest as you press your fingertips into your spinal column. Think of rolling the fronts of the shoulders open and back, open your throat, and slowly release your head back. This is not a huge backbend, just an opening of the front body.
•Engage your low belly and your front quadricep as you slowly fold over the right leg. Continue grounding the back heel for stability and think of maintaining the length you found in the spine on your initial small backbend. Take several breaths - balancing the grounding & lengthening.
• Release the pose, rotate to the other side, & repeat.
✔️ PROP setups for better access to the pose
• a) If your hamstrings are tight, you will want to place your hands on BLOCKS to maintain straight legs safely. b) Press your back heel into the WALL to ground it while you work to square the hips to the top of your mat. c) Use a STRAP around your upper arms if you are unable to bring your hands together in reverse prayer.
• You can practice PVT with arm variations to accomplish different purposes. Reaching the arms back deepens your fold while reaching the, forward lengthens your spine.
✔️ Props + Variations to add challenge :
• a) Lift your front foot on a BLOCK to deepen the hamstring stretch + challenge your balance. b) Stretch your arms overhead to add an intense shoulder stretch + work on keeping the chest open. c) Interlace your fingers around your back calf to stretch the shoulders + deepen the fold.
Let me know how it goes! Be creative, be agile, have fun!