Jathara Parivartanasana: Two Knee Spinal Twist Pose
Jathara parivartanasana (ja-THAR-ah pari-var-tan-AHS-anna), also known as the two knee spinal twist pose, is restorative posture that encourages mobility and movement throughout the spine and entire back while improving digestion and stimulating self-esteem and confidence.
- Encourages movement in the spine.
- Stretches the chest and shoulders.
- Thought to improve digestion.
- Bridge pose | Setu bandhasana
- Wind releasing pose | Pavana muktasana
- Reclining bound angle pose | Supta baddha konasana
- Shoulderstand | Sarvangasana
- If your knees do not rest easily on the ground, place your knees and feet on a large pillow.
- If the twist feels too strong in your lower back, first try placing a pillow between your knees or move your knees further away from your head.
- To deepen your twist, place your right hand on your left knee (closest hand) and gently encourage your knees down.
- Begin by lying on your back, feet on the ground.
- Lift your feet off the floor, knees together and feet together and open your arms out to the sides.
- Exhale to slowly lower both legs to the left. Keep your knees at about hip level and at a 90-degree angle.
- Open your arms out to the sides and encourage your right shoulder to soften toward the ground.
- Hold for at least three rounds of breath.
- To exit, press both hands into the floor at shoulder level and contract your abdominal muscles. As you inhale lift your knees and feet up over your chest. Hold onto your knees with both hands.
- As you exhale, draw your thighs down into your chest as you lift your head and chest into the thighs and knees. Avoid lifting your shoulders as the head rises to the knees.
- Lower your head and shoulders to the floor and repeat on the other side.
Natarajasana: Lord of the Dance Pose
Natarajasana (not-ah-raj-AHS-anna) is a physically challenging, beautiful pose that requires flexibility in the spine, legs, and hips. To practice the pose, use a thoughtful sequence filled with plenty of preparatory poses in order to make sure your body – and mind – are adequately prepared. Regular practice will help develop strong mental fortitude and determined concentration.
Philosophy + Origin
A physical embodiment of King Nataraja, a form of the lord Shiva, lord of the dance pose (also referred to as king dancer pose) is a tribute to this powerful god of destruction. Embracing destruction and even death as part of the cycle of change and growth, this pose is a helpful reminder that no good can exist without evil, no birth without death.
In most depictions of King Nataraja, he is standing on one leg (hence the shape of the pose), gazing over the head of a small dwarf, whose presence represents ignorance. In this way, lord of the dance pose encourages our consciousness to elevate above ignorance, above the common thoughts and misunderstandings that cloud our view. The balance that comes from the pose awakens our understanding that clarity brings steadiness.