Parivrtta Utkatasana: Revolved Chair Pose
Parivrtta utkatasana (par-ee-vrit-tah OOT-kah-TAHS-anna) lives up to the Sanskrit translation of power and ferocity. A great way to strengthen and lengthen the leg muscles, this challenging posture also lengthens and improves mobility in the spine. Practicing parivrtta utkatasana will give a feeling of groundedness in the lower half of the body and open spaciousness in the upper body.
Philosophy + Origin
Parivrtta utkatasana is an opportunity to practice the concept of “rooting to rise.” In order to deepen the posture, you must find strength in the legs and lightness in the spine and upper body. While it’s easy to only focus on deepening the twist, the best results come from first setting up your foundation. This philosophy of building a strong foundation through rooting and grounding is helpful in life. While your goals and aspirations, even your daily to-dos, can constantly demand your attention, get strong through your roots before you try to spread your wings.
- Use a folded blanket or rolled yoga mat beneath your heels to keep your feet firmly planted when practicing this posture.
- Keep your knees stay together to help stabilize your pelvis and protect your lower back.
- Place a block between your inner thighs. Squeeze the block as you twist to help keep your knees aligned.
- Begin in chair pose with knees together and weight mostly in your heels.
- Bring your hands together into a prayer position at the center of your chest.
- Inhale to lengthen your spine. Exhale to hinge forward then twist to your right, hooking your left elbow outside your right thigh.
- Press your palms together to create more space between your collarbones.
- Keep your knees together. Lower your hips an extra inch.
- Hold for 3-5 breaths before releasing to a forward fold. Return to chair and repeat on the other side.
- One-Footed Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I | Eka pada Koundinyasana I
- Revolved crow pose | Parsva bakasana
- Half lord of the fishes | Ardha matsyendrasana
- Parivrtta = revolved
- Utkata = powerful, fierce
- Asana = pose
- Strengthens hip flexor muscles, front of thighs, adductors, and gluteus muscles.
- Lengthens side bodies.
- Opens chest, shoulders, and upper back.
- Ignites and stimulates agni (digestive fire) in your belly.
Agnistambhasana: Firelog Pose
Agnistambhasana (AG-nee-stahm-BAHS-ah-nah) is sometimes referred to as double pigeon pose because the legs take a similar shape as they do in pigeon pose. Firelog pose creates a deep stretch in the outer hips and space in the low back.
Philosophy + Origin
Fire (agni) is a transformative element. Agnistambhasana can be very uncomfortable as many people carry deep tension in their hips. See if you can feel the fire building in your hips and with your breath as you hold this pose.
- Sit on a folded blanket or block to create more space for your hips.
- Place your top leg in front of your bottom leg (rather than on top of it) to ease pressure on the knees.
- Use a block under your top ankle to release pressure on your bottom leg.
- Use a block under your top knee to help the hip relax and to relieve discomfort in the knee.