Power Yoga: Extended Side Angle Pose for Seniors

By Larry Payne, Georg Feuerstein, Sherri Baptiste, Doug Swenson, Stephan Bodian, LaReine Chabut, Therese Iknoian

This is an easy adaptation of a traditional Power Yoga posture. The traditional extended side angle pose requires you to lunge deep on your right leg with your left leg extended behind you and, at the same time, rest your right hand on the floor.

That’s some pretty tricky stuff! If you’re getting up there in years or you aren’t in the greatest physical condition, you can do the same posture without lunging so deeply and with the benefit of some added support. The following version of the extended side angle pose strengthens legs and tones ankles, knees, and thighs.

Using a chair as a prop makes this pose much easier to do, but it doesn’t detract from the posture’s ability to develop your chest and reduce fat around your waist and abdomen. Opening all the muscles of the rib cage also enhances your ability to breathe.

Have a sturdy chair ready to help you achieve the modified extended side angle pose:

  1. Start from the extended mountain pose.

    Stand strong and firm with correct posture.

  2. Turn your right foot outward 90 degrees, and turn your left foot in at a 45-degree angle.

    [Credit: Photograph by Raul Marroquin]

    Credit: Photograph by Raul Marroquin
  3. Inhale, lifting your arms to your sides and parallel to the floor.

  4. Exhale as you lunge, bending your right knee so that your thigh and shin form a 90-degree angle.

    Your right knee comes directly over your right heel, bringing your thigh parallel to the floor.

  5. Place your right forearm on the seat of the chair for support.

    Use your right hand to slide into position onto the chair close to your right knee.

  6. Form a 45-degree angle with your body, from your extended left leg (which is back behind you), through your torso, and all the way out to your fingertips.

    Your left arm is extended up at a 45-degree angle on the same plane as your leg and your torso; your palm should be open, and your hand facing outward.

  7. Turn your head upward, looking up under your arm and toward the ceiling; hold this position for 5 slow, deep breaths.

    [Credit: Photograph by Raul Marroquin]

    Credit: Photograph by Raul Marroquin