Sage Twist - Parivrtta Bharadvajasana

Parivrtta Bharadvajasana 
(Sage Twist Asana)

(bah-ROD-va-JAHS-anna)
parivrtta = revolved 
Bharadvaja = one of seven legendary seers, credited with composing the hymns collected in the Vedas

This yoga twisting pose brings deep internal awareness for a balanced twist to both sides of the body. This yoga exercise offers a massage to the internal organs and spine. The therapy of this yoga pose extends to the mind as it releases tension and anxiety.


Benefits


Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips 

Massages the abdominal organs 

Relieves lower backache, neck pain, and sciatica 

Helps relieve stress 

Improves digestion 

Especially good in the second trimester of pregnancy for strengthening the lower back 

Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome 

Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips

Massages the abdominal organs

Relieves lower backache, neck pain, and sciatica 

Helps relieve stress 

Improves digestion

Especially good in the second trimester of pregnancy for strengthening the lower back

Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome

Contraindications/Cautions


Diarrhea 

Headache 

High blood pressure 

Insomnia 

Low blood pressure 

Menstruation 

Performing the Asana


Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Shift over onto your right buttock, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the left. Lay your feet on the floor outside your left hip, with the left ankle resting in the right arch. 

Inhale and lift through the top of the sternum to lengthen the front torso. Then exhale and twist your torso to the right, keeping the left buttock on or very close to the floor. Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor to keep the lower back long. Soften the belly. 

Tuck your left hand under your right knee and bring your right hand to the floor just beside your right buttock. Pull your left shoulder back slightly, pressing your shoulder blades firmly against your back even as you continue to twist the chest to the right. 

You can turn your head in one of two directions: continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at your feet. 

With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, using the push of the fingers on the floor to help; with every exhalation twist a little more. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time. 

Modify Your Practice


For an easier variation of this pose, sit sideways on a chair with the chair back to your right. Bring your knees together and your heels directly below your knees. Exhale and twist toward the chair back. Hold onto the sides of the chair back and lift your elbows up and out to the sides, as if you were pulling the chair back apart. Use the arms to help widen the upper back and move the twist into the space between the shoulder blades. 

You may try this pose on a chair, placing the feet on the floor directly in front of the body for comfort.
Another variation, is remaining in Staff Pose and following the twist. Remember to press out through the heels and soften the belly for a generous stretch to the spine.

Complimentary Yoga Poses


Baddha Konasana - Bound Angle Pose 
Supta Padangusthasana - Reclining Big Toe Stretch 
Trikonasana - Triangle 
Virabhadrasana II - Warrior II 
Virasana - Hero Pose 
Vrksasana- Tree Balance Pose 

Tips for Beginners


If you tilt onto the twisting-side buttock (which compresses the lower back), raise it up on a thickly folded blanket. Consciously sink both sitting bones toward the floor. 

Deepen the Pose


You can increase the challenge in this pose by slightly varying the position of the arms and hands. First, exhale and swing your right arm around behind your back as you twist to the right. If you can, grip the left arm just at the elbow with the right hand; if you can't, hold a strap looped around the left elbow. Then turn your left arm outward (so the palm faces away from the knees) and slip the hand under the right knee, palm on the floor. 

Partner Practice


A partner can help you learn to ground the opposite-side buttock. If you are twisting to the right, have your partner stand to your left side and place his/her left foot on the very top of your left thigh, with the inner edge of the foot in the groin. Apply gentle pressure at first, then increase the pressure as seems appropriate. Exhale into your twist but keep the top left thigh releasing away from your partner's foot.