Vakrasana

Beginner

Seated Asanas

Vakrasana

Twisted Pose

(vak-ra-sun)

Meaning: vakra = twist

Muscle and Joints:

Spinal Movements:

Preparation

Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose) - spine straight and upright, hands at your sides, extend legs forward, feet together. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Bend the right knee and place the center of your right foot beside the left knee. Bring the right arm behind the back and place the heel of your hand behind the tailbone. Hug the right knee with the left hand. Inhale. Exhaling, twist your chest and abdomen to the right by pulling your thigh to your abdomen. Keep spine straight. Inhaling, raise the left arm up. Exhaling, twist your torso farther to the right (bending slightly forward), lower the left arm over the outside the right knee (bringing left shoulder as close to right knee as possible), lift the front of your right foot, straighten the left arm (pressing your knee toward the left), and grab the inside of the right foot, and lower the right foot back to the floor. Inhale. Exhaling, twist the torso – including the chest and abdomen farther to the right, keeping the shoulders in alignment. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, twist farther. Look over the right shoulder. Hold with normal breathing for around 30 seconds.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Exhale. Inhaling, slowly release the left arm and bring back to your left side. Bring the chest and abdomen back to the starting position. Bring the right arm back to your side, and straighten the right leg back to the starting position. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • Place the center of the foot by the opposite knee.
  • Focus on twisting the abdomen with the spine, trying to get the abdomen outside of the thigh. Suck the abdomen in to move it past the bent leg.
  • To reach the foot with the hand, bring the shoulder closer to the bent knee by twisting and hunching a little first, then grab the foot and straighten the spine again.
  • Try to distribute the tension you feel in this position to as many areas equally as possible.
  • Do not look down when turning your neck to avoid straining it. Look straight backward and far.
  • Do not put excess weight on the fingertips behind the back. Use hand for balancing and twisting, not to support full body weight.
  • Keep the spine from tailbone to neck as straight as possible without hunching.
  • To twist farther, do so while exhaling.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have stomach ulcers or chronic/serious knee or shoulder problems.

Be careful

If you have knee issues, asthma, diarrhea, or if you are menstruating.

Benefits

General

  • Opens the chest; stretches the back, spine, abdomen, hips.
  • improves spinal flexibility.
  • Strengthens back muscles.
  • Improves lung capacity.
  • Stimulates abdominal organs and spinal nerves.

Therapeutic

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