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Side Angle Twist (parivrtta parsvakonasana)

Standing forward bend that stimulates your abdominal organs.
 

Side Angle Twist (or parivrtta parsvakonasana), also called Reverse Right Angle, is an advanced pose that stretches your legs, spine and the sides of your body. The twist in this pose stimulates your abdominal organs, which helps to aid digestion.
 
Side Angle Twist is also useful for improving your balance and strengthening your legs and torso.
 
While performing Side Angle Twist, make sure you keep your back flat and your spine lengthened. You should also make sure you keep your arms straight.
 
The position of your arms in this pose allows your chest to open more, which can increase your capacity for deep breathing. Since the twist in this pose is intense, be careful not to move deeper into the pose than is comfortable for you.
 
You should use caution performing Side Angle Twist if you have had an injury to your back or spine or if you have high blood pressure. You should also avoid this pose if you have a headache.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Step your right foot to the right approximately 3 feet.
Turn your left foot in 45 degrees and then turn your right foot out 90 degrees.
Bend your right knee until it is over your right ankle.
Turn your torso to face the same direction as your right knee.
Raise your arms up to shoulder height, with your palms facing down. Your shoulders should be down and relaxed.
Exhale as you bend forward from your hips.
Place your left palm or fingertips on the floor near the inside of your right foot.
Twist to the right and stretch your right arm up toward the ceiling. Your arm should be straight, but your elbow should not be locked.
Turn your head to look up at your right hand.
Press through the crown of your head to lengthen your spine.
Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds.
To come out of the pose, bring your right arm down and release the twist in your torso. Then return to Mountain Pose.
Repeat steps 2 to 13 for your other side.
 
What can I do if I have difficulty maintaining my balance?
To help maintain your balance, begin in Lunge Pose with your left knee on the floor. Then perform steps 6 to 12 above and repeat for your other side. Once you become comfortable with this modification, try the pose from the standing position. This modification is also useful if you have high blood pressure and must avoid a standing forward bend.
 
What should I do if my palm cannot reach the floor?
If your palm cannot reach the floor in this pose, you can position a block on the inside of your foot and place your palm on the block.
 
How can I deepen this pose?
To deepen the pose, place your palm or fingertips on the floor on the outside of your foot. This modification provides a more intense twist to your torso and spine.
 
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