Parsva Balasana: Thread the Needle Pose

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Parsva balasana (PARS-va bah-LAHS-ah-nah) is a simple twist and gentle inversion that can warm up or calm down your body.

Sanskrit:

  • Parsva = turned
  • Bala = child
  • Asana = pose

Physical Benefits:

  • Twists the thoracic spine.
  • Gently compresses the muscles of the upper chest.
  • Stretches the upper and outer muscles of the shoulder.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Childs pose | Balasana
  • Table top |Bharmanasana
  • Cat pose | Marjariasana

Sequential Poses:

Counter Poses:

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • Place a blanket underneath your knees for extra cushion.
  • A similar stretch can be done in seated or standing by crossing one arm over your chest and hooking it with the opposite arm.
  • Place your forearm (rather than your shoulder) on the ground.

Step-By-Step:

  1. Begin in a neutral tabletop position with your hands and knees on your mat.
  2. Exhale to reach your right arm under your left arm.
  3. Lower your right shoulder and ear to the ground.
  4. Keep equal weight in your knees, feet straight out behind you.
  5. Hold for 5-10 breaths. Release back to table top, then repeat on the other side.

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Utkatasana: Chair Pose

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ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

A challenging pose with hidden benefits, utkatasana (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna) works your body inside and out. Aside from strengthening your legs, this powerful pose also improves the health of your diaphragm and stimulates your heart. Practicing regularly will not only increase your physical endurance, it also encourages your chest and arms to open, creating more space in your body energetically.

Philosophy + Origin

While sitting in a chair is a common act for most of us today, chairs were once, and in some locations still are, considered a luxury. A throne in particular is a seat of power, one assumed by leaders around the world. The pose utkatasana, translated to mean powerful pose, invites individuals to sit on their throne, their seat of power. Embracing the challenge of the pose, and recognizing the strength that is generated when assumed thoughtfully and in proper alignment (physically and spiritually), you can begin to refine all aspects of your life, allowing yourself to step into roles of leadership and responsibility with clarity and confidence.

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