Child’s Pose
March 31, 2015
Corpse Pose
March 31, 2015

Compass Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana
(par-ee-vrt-TAH sir-yah yahn-TRAHS-anah)
parivrtta = revolved
surya = sun
yantra = instrument

BENEFITS

  • Stretches spinal side flexors, hamstrings, and groin
  • Opens the sides of the ribcage, shoulders, and tissues of the lung meridian
  • Lengthens the latissimus dorsi muscle along the sides of the ribcage
  • Strengthens the hip flexors and core

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Hip pathologies
  • Low back pathologies
  • Groin, knee, shoulder, or hip injuries

HOW TO

  1. Start in Sukhasana (Easy pose).
  2. Keeping the left leg bent and grounded into the mat, place your right hand down in front of your left shin.
  3. Bring your right knee up toward your chest, and attempt to draw your right shoulder under the crease of the knee. Aim to bring the knee as high as possible on the shoulder.
  4. Take the left hand and reach for the outer edge of the right foot.
  5. Inhale and begin to extend your right knee while simultaneously drawing the left arm behind your head. Ground down into your sitting bones as you exhale.
  6. Hold this pose for up to 10 slow breaths. Use your inhales to lengthen the spine and exhales to deepen the stretch.
  7. To exit Compass pose, inhale and lengthen your spine. Then exhale, release the foot, and bend the right knee to slowly dissolve out of the posture. Repeat on the opposite side.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Utilize a strap for support.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Keep the upper and lower spine lifted through the torso and firm your abdominals.
  • Lift your ribcage away from your hips and press the hips forward to deepen the stretch.
  • Press your foot into the palm of your hand to create a bandha (lock) for support.
  • Be cautious of your low spine and keep the lower abdominals drawn up and in.

VARIATIONS

  • Standing Split: The right leg reaches to the ceiling; the arms bind around the right leg and behind the back.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Pain/strain in the shoulder, hamstring, spine, hip, or knee
  • Sitting bones lifting off the floor
  • Rounding of the spine