Say hello to Parsva Sukhasana, a seated side stretch that you can take on the road, or slip into a daily routine to give a little extra stretch to the sides of the torso, your shoulders and your arms. As a bonus, this simple yoga stretch is one you can take on the road and do virtually anywhere!
This asana, or pose, is a nice way to warm up the torso. And start your day!
- Tip: This seated bend can also be performed while seated in a chair.
Meaning of Parsva Sukhasana:
- Parsva — side, or plank
- Sukha — easy/comfortable/joy from su — good, and kha — space
- Asana — pose
How to do this simple yoga stretch
- To begin, start in Easy Pose, or Sukhasana, with your legs crossed.
- Then, place your left hand on the ground (or the fingertips of your left hand).
- Next, take a deep breath in and raise your right arm as if you’re reaching for the sky. Now, firmly press your arm to your ear. This will keep your arm and head in alignment and help avoid neck strain.
- Exhale and stretch to the left. Hold this position. In addition, make sure both of your sit bones are firmly on the ground. Try not to let the right side lift off the ground as you stretch. If that happens, try placing a small pillow or bolster under your left knee or thigh, or lessen the stretch so you have a firm sitting position.
- Next, breathe in and out, working your way up to 5 breaths.
- To release, take a deep breath in and raise your arm (with your head touching your arm, therefore, keeping your head and arm as one unit). Breathe out and lower your right hand.
- Finally, repeat on the other side.
- Smile because you’ve done a yoga stretch!
Interested in more yoga basics? Read: Try This Core Building Yoga Pose
One idea to deepen this simple yoga stretch:
- On the fourth step, on your next in-breath, expand the chest. As you exhale, deepen the stretch, seeing if you can lengthen a bit more. Do this in stages. In particular, I like to do this in sets of three-breaths: breathing in: expanding the chest, breathing out: lengthening. Once you’ve stretched to your furthest point, breathe in and out for an additional 3-5 breaths as feels comfortable for you.
Rose Margaret Deniz is an artist, writer, and yoga instructor @roselayoga. The farm-girl turned expat has been gluten-free for over 12 years, and can be found in her kitchen whipping up seasonal meals for her bilingual family, growing herbs in her garden, painting and writing in her studio, and practicing yoga.