Half Belly Twist

Definition - What does Half Belly Twist mean?

Half belly twist is a basic twisting pose that offers the same benefits of the full pose without as intense a stretch.

Lying on the mat with the front body facing the sky, draw the knees into the chest and extend one arm to the side, while dropping the knees to the other side. The head rotates toward the extended arm and the gaze toward the thumb of that hand.

In Sanskrit, half belly twist is called ardha jathara parivartanasana.

Half Belly Twist

Yogapedia explains Half Belly Twist

As a spinal twist, half belly twist lengthens and aligns the spine and is believed to squeeze impurities from the body. The pose also has these benefits:

  • Opens the hips
  • Stretches the sides of the body, the quadriceps, lower back and shoulders
  • Calms the mind, reducing stress and fatigue
  • Energizes the body and mind
  • Opens the chest and shoulders
  • Improves posture
  • Massages the abdominal organs, improving digestion

Yogis with back, hip, knee, shoulder or neck injuries should skip half belly twist or practice a modified version that does not strain the injury. Half belly twist can be used for back rehabilitation but only under the direction of a medical professional. Props like rolled blankets or pillows can be used to support the knees and lessen the intensity of the twist.

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