Jathara Parivartanasana: Two Knee Spinal Twist Pose

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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.

Physical Benefits:

  • Encourages movement in the spine.
  • Stretches the chest and shoulders.
  • Thought to improve digestion.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Bridge pose | Setu bandhasana
  • Wind releasing pose | Pavana muktasana

Sequential Poses:

  • Reclining bound angle pose | Supta baddha konasana
  • Shoulderstand | Sarvangasana

Counter Poses:

  • Savasana

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • 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.

Step-By-Step:

  1. Begin by lying on your back, feet on the ground.
  2. Lift your feet off the floor, knees together and feet together and open your arms out to the sides.
  3. Exhale to slowly lower both legs to the left. Keep your knees at about hip level and at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Open your arms out to the sides and encourage your right shoulder to soften toward the ground.
  5. Hold for at least three rounds of breath.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Lower your head and shoulders to the floor and repeat on the other side.

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Parsvottanasana: Intense Side Stretch Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

From lengthening the spine to stretching the legs to calming the mind, there’s a little bit of everything in parsvottanasana (parsh-voh-tahn-AHS-ah-nah) Also known as intense side stretch pose or pyramid pose, this shape is helpful for finding balance while stretching hamstrings.

Parsvottanasana requires a combination of flexibility, strength, and patience. With the help of props such as blocks or a wall, the\is pose becomes accessible for everyone.

ADJUSTMENTS/MODIFICATIONS:

  • Blocks: Place hands on blocks to help keep the torso long.
  • Wall: Place hands on a wall in front of you to work on strengthening the muscles of the back.
  • Heart opening variation: Take the hands in reverse prayer position behind the back to stretch and open your shoulders and chest while also challenging your balance. If reverse prayer isn’t accessible, you can still bring the arms behind the back, reaching for opposite elbows instead.
  • Adjust your stance: If the back heel is lifted off of the floor, shorten the stance so you can push through the heel to activate the back leg. For more stability, widen your stance.
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