[Pose Of the Week] Seated Side Bend Pose (Beginner)

Stretch your side body, strengthen your core, calm your mind, and more in Seated Side Bend Pose…

Seated Side Bend Pose (Parsva Sukhasana) – also known as Seated Side Body Stretch Pose – is a beginner-level yoga pose that helps to open the hips, strengthen the core, and stretch the spine, obliques, intercostal muscles, lats, and shoulders. This stretching variation of Easy Pose is also believed to calm the mind and relieve stress and anxiety, and balance the Heart Chakra. It may also help to improve posture and digestive function.

Be sure to keep both hips firmly grounded while performing this pose. If your hips are tight or you have knee pain, you may roll or fold a couple of blankets and place them under your knees and/or hips for support. You can also support your knees with cushions or yoga blocks.

To deepen the stretch, you may bring your elbow to the floor and rest on your elbow and forearm as shown here.

Those with ankle, hip, back, or shoulder injuries should use caution or skip this pose. Avoid this pose if you have had recent knee or shoulder surgery, or if you have sciatica or suffer from arthritis in the knees, shoulders, or neck.

How to Do Seated Side Bend Pose:

  1. Sit on one or two folded blankets, with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Draw your right leg in and then your left leg to come into a cross-legged position (Easy Pose).
  3. Allow your hands to fall into whatever position feels naturally right.
  4. Feel the connection between your feet, legs, sit bones, and the floor.
  5. As you inhale, lengthen the spine up nice and tall.
  6. Draw the shoulders gently down the back and feel your heart expand.
  7. Bring the crown of your head in line with your hips and bring your chin parallel to the floor.
  8. Place your right hand on the floor and simultaneously extend the left arm upward towards your left ear.
  9. Exhale and side bend to the right.
  10. If possible, keep your gaze on your left hand as you take 5-10 breaths in this position. Keep your top shoulder pulled back and don’t allow it to round forward towards your face.
  11. To come out, take an inhalation and return to center with both hands resting on the knees.
  12. Reverse the cross of your legs and repeat on the opposite side.
  13. Return to center and rest both hands on the knees. Sit here in Easy Pose and take a few breaths before moving on to the next pose.
Learn more at Paavaniayurveda.com


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