Utthita = stretched or extended.
Parsva = Side.
Kona = Angle.
Asana = Posture or Steady Pose.
This posture targets so many areas of the body.
It will lengthen both sides of the body and open the shoulders and chest. It will provide a stretch for the outer and inner thighs whilst strengthening the bent supporting leg.
How to Perform Utthita Parsvokanasana
There are quite a few variations of this posture.
The instructions below will take you to the first progression of the posture first and then to a deeper version of the same posture.
Stand with the feet leg length apart with the outside edges of the feet parallel. Turn your right foot out, lift your arms up level with your shoulders, and bend your right knee, so that the knee is over the right ankle and the right thigh is parallel to the ground. Place your right forearm onto your right thigh. Extend your left arm straight up and then lean to the right reaching the left arm to the right to form a diagonal line from your left hand to your left foot.
Hold for a few complete breaths. When you are ready place your right hand to the floor on the outside of the right foot (it is also possible to place the right hand on the inside of the right foot). Keep reaching the left arm to the right to maintain the diagonal line between the left hand and the outside of the left foot.
Work to rotate the left side of the rib cage back a little so that the torso remains open.