Awkward Pose
April 9, 2015
Boat Pose
April 9, 2015

Bharadvaja’s Twist

LEVEL

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Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Bharadvajasana
(bhar-ahd-VAH-JAHS-anna)
Bharadvaja = a sage; the father of Drona, who fought
in the famous war described in the Mahabharata 

BENEFITS

  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Improves digestion
  • Stretches the spine and shoulders
  • Increases spinal flexibility
  • Relieves stress

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Headache

HOW TO

  1. Begin sitting in Staff pose (Dandasana). Shift to your left, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the right. Rest your right ankle in the arch of your left foot.
  2. Lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist to the left.
  3. Tuck your right hand underneath your left knee. Then grasp your upper right arm with your left hand by placing your left arm behind your back. Exhale and continue twisting the torso to the left.
  4. Gaze over your left shoulder.
  5. Stay in this pose for up to one minute. Exhale to release and repeat on the opposite side.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor.
  • Press your shoulder blades together.
  • With each inhalation, lift the sternum.
  • With each exhalation, twist a little deeper.

VARIATIONS

  • Gaze over your shoulder in the opposite direction of the twist.
  • Bharadvajasana II

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Bodyweight resting solely on the twisting-side buttock: If this happens, have the student place a folded blanket under the lifted buttock.