8 Steps To Teach Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

This is one of 100’s of yoga lesson planning tips, tools and templates within The Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit

Step 1
Teach the Sanskrit

Teach your students the sanksrit by breaking it down into bite sized morsals.

It’s pronounced “oo-TEE-tah parsh-vah-cone-AHS-anna”.

Utthita = extended
Parsva = side
Kona = angle
Asana = pose

Ask your students to learn the Sanskrit by getting them to repeat it as a mantra for 5 minutes.

Step 2 
Teach the Symbolism 

If you want to add a theme to the pose (or entire class if this is your peak pose), you could choose from one of these themes…

  • Expand the field of our perception
  • Going beyond limitations
  • Cope and handle adversity
  • Flexibility
  • Stretching your horizons
  • Twist yourself to extend your capacities

Step 3
Teach the Benefits

Teach your students the benefits…

  • Strengthens and stretches legs, groins, hamstrings.
  • Opens chest and shoulders.

Step 4
Teach the Precautions

  • Don’t look up for too long if you have cervical spondylosis
  • Don’t raise your arm if you have a cardiac condition
  • Don’t practice if you have lower back problems
  • Don’t practice if you have neck pain
  • Don’t practice if you have a headache
  • Don’t practice if you have a diarrhoea
  • Don’t practice if you have a low blood pressure
  • Don’t practice if you have psoriasis
  • Don’t practice if you have varicose veins
  • Don’t practice if you have depression

Step 5
Teach the Pose

From Down Dog right foot forward next to right hand.

Drop left heel to floor.

Bend right knee (calf & thigh at right angle with thigh parallel to floor).

Right hand inside right foot.

Left arm up.

Open chest.

Stack left shoulder on right.

Repeat on left.

Step 6
Teach the Modifications

Knowing a few modifications for each posture you teach is really important.  It will make you a versatile and much more professional yoga teacher.

Neck Pain
If you have neck pain, don’t look up to the ceiling.

Satya (truthfulness)
Ask your students to tap into their satya (truthfulness) to be aware how far they can venture into the posture.

Tailbone lengthening
Imagine your tailbone lengthening away from your crown.

Rest your back or heel against a wall if you’re struggling with balance.

Yoga Block
If your student is struggling to reach their hand on the floor, use a yoga block.

Steps 7
Teach the Variations

If a student isn’t able to do this posture (or if you have advanced students), give them a variation.

Revolved triangle pose
Parivritta trikonasana

Reclining triangle pose
Supta trikonasana

Step 8
Teach a Follow-up Pose

You can follow up “Extended Side Angle Pose” with a standing forward bend (or any standing poses such as Mountain PoseTree Pose or Warrior Pose.

If you enjoyed this yoga lesson planning tip, take a quick peek at The Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit


The largest collection of yoga teacher lesson planning resources on the web. Created by yoga teachers for yoga teachers.


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George Watts

BWY Yoga Teacher at George Watts Yoga
This post was lovingly morphed into reality by BWY yoga teacher, George Watts. If you're looking for a treasure trove of yoga lesson planning goodness, take a quick peek at Yoga Teacher Lesson Plan Kit.

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