Bharadvaja’s Twist

Definition - What does Bharadvaja’s Twist mean?

Bharadvaja's twist is a seated spinal twist pose and hip opener named after the Hindu guru, Bharadvaja.

This posture has several variations, but the most basic begins in staff pose. The weight is then shifted to the right buttock and the knees bend while the legs drop to the left. The left inner ankle should rest in the arch of the right foot. For the twist portion of the pose, the upper body turns to the right as the right hand is placed on the floor behind the body and the left hand rests palm up on the outer right thigh. Finally, the head turns to gaze over the right shoulder. To complete the pose, repeat on the opposite side.

This pose is also known by its Sanskrit name, bharadvajasana.

Yogapedia explains Bharadvaja’s Twist

Among the many benefits of this pose, the twisting motion is believed to squeeze out tension and stress. Practicing this posture, therefore, calms the mind and nervous system, restoring a sense of balance.

Additional benefits of Bharadvaja's twist are:

  • Increased hip flexibility
  • Strengthening of the lower spine
  • Stretching of the muscles of the neck, shoulders, spine, knees and ankles
  • Massaging of the internal organs, helping digestion
  • Relieve the pain of sciatica and arthritis

Those with limited flexibility can place a blanket under the thighs. For someone with hip mobility problems, Bharadvaja's twist can be practiced from a seated position in a chair.

In a more advanced variation, one leg is placed in lotus pose and the other leg as in hero pose. This version should only be practiced by those with increased hip mobility.

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