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Alignment in Side Bending Poses

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In everyday life, sometimes, we tend to neglect the sides of our body. Most of the activities like sitting, driving, reading etc. require only forward facing movement. But there are several activities which require us to bend sideways like gardening, cleaning etc. Some of the sports which require jumping and reaching upwards also involve sideward movement of the body.

The side bends bring balance to your whole body lengthening the abdominal muscles, hips, thighs and spine. They also stretch the muscles between the ribs which tend to shorten and become tight due to bad posture.

The benefits are innumerable for us to include side bends in our yoga practice. It’s vital to be suitably aligned while practicing these poses to maximize the results achieved.

Some important points to keep in mind while going for side bends are:-

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-Bend sideways keeping the top shoulder aligned over the bottom shoulder thus maintaining the bend as a side bend instead of a forward bend.

-Keep the spine long and lengthen it sideways before bending it down’ giving it a ‘C shape’.

-It’s important to support the weight of the torso so the side muscles are relaxing not contracting.

-To achieve more out of sidebends keep the top arm straight and long to lengthen the lateral side of the body.

Some of the side bending poses that we will be covering over the coming weeks are as follows:-

  1. Side Bending Mountain Pose [Parsva Tadasana]
  2. Side Bending Tree Pose [Parsva Vrikshasana]
  3. Triangle Pose -2 [Trikonasana-2]
  4. Pyramid Pose [Parshavottanasana]
  5. Wide Legged Forward Bend, Variation [Prasarita Padottanasana]
  6. Side Bending Downward Facing Dog [Parsva Adhomukhsvanasana]
  7. Gate Pose [Parighasana]
  8. Twisted Hand to Knee Pose ‘Variation [Parivrtta Janushirshasana]
  9. Side Seated Wide Angle Pose [ Parsva Upavishtakonasana]
  10. Revolved Seated Forward Bending Pose [Parivrtta Paschimotanasana]


Neelanjana Bharadwaj– Yoga Expert

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