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.
Ardha Hanumanasana: Half Front Splits Pose
Ardha hanumanasana (are-dah hah-new-mahn-AHS-ah-nah) is a big stretch for hamstrings. This pose is more approachable than full hanumanasana and strengthens the muscles needed to practice front splits safely with the correct muscles properly engaged.
Philosophy + Origin
One of the main characters of the Ramayana is Hanuman, the famous monkey god, devotee of Lord Rama, and son of Vayu (the god of wind). He is celebrated in the pose hanumanasana, which physically represents his famous “leap of faith,” taking him across the ocean from India to Sri Lanka. Ardha hanumanasana, the preparatory pose for hanumanasana, can represent the stability and strength needed to make grand, world-changing (or life-changing) gestures. Rather than only focusing on gaining flexibility, practice ardha hanumanasana to create a healthy balance of flexibility and strength. When practicing ardha hanumanasana, remind yourself of the dangers of only being flexible in life; in order to really get where you want to go, you must also be strong and stable.