intense side stretch (parsvottanasana) focus on the hamstrings and legs..

by January 14, 2013

Intense Side Stretch, or Parsvottanasana in Sanskrit, can be as intense as it sounds if you have tight hamstrings and tight muscles. Nonetheless, this pose can help you stretch your tight areas, including the hamstrings, the buttocks, back muscles and leg muscles.

If you cannot bring your face all the way to your front leg in this pose, you can simply not bend all the way, or hold the wall or a chair in front of you, or a block on the floor.

Intense Side Stretch (Parsvottanasana)

You can begin in Wide-Legged Forward Bend by turning to one side, in Mountain pose by stepping one foot forward or in Warrior I by straightening your front leg. Your feet should be about hip width apart with your right foot facing out at a 45-degree angle behind the left a few feet. Your hips and front foot should be facing forward. Place your hands on your hips or clasp your elbows behind your back.

Keep your front leg straight as you extend your torso and hinge forward at the hips and bring your torso and face as close to your front leg as you can get them. You should exhale as you bend forward. You can put your arms and hands into different positions within this pose. You can keep them at your hips or you can bring them to the floor or hug your front leg with them. You can also bring them behind your back with a prayer hand posture, or by clasping your hands or elbows. If you have difficulty, you can hold the wall, a chair or blocks.

Stay in the folded position for 30 seconds or less, and breathe in as you bring your torso up. Press your weight into your right foot to come up. Finally, switch sides.


  • Stretches hamstrings, back, buttocks, hips and legs
  • Stretches the shoulders and wrists when hands are brought behind back
  • Can benefit flat feet
  • Helps posture, balance and leg strength
  • Positive for the ab organs and digestion
  • Calming to the brain