Prayer Twist

Definition - What does Prayer Twist mean?

Prayer twist is a relatively challenging standing twist, closely related to revolved side angle pose. It provides a strong twist for the whole of the torso while strengthening the lower body.

From extended side angle pose, the body rotates over the front thigh, taking the opposite elbow across the thigh and twisting the torso. The palms press together in front of the chest and the gaze is taken to the side or up.

Prayer twist is also known by its Sanskrit name, namaskar parsvokanasana.

Yogapedia explains Prayer Twist

Prayer twist helps to realign the spine while building strength and flexibility in the lower body and torso. Additional benefits of prayer twist include:

  • Builds strength in the thighs, calves, ankles and feet
  • Stretches the muscles of the back
  • Nourishes the spine
  • Opens the chest
  • Improves digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs

Prayer twist can be modified by placing both hands on the bent knee and simply looking over the shoulder. The back knee can also be lowered to the floor to make it gentler for the legs and allow the spine to move more easily into the twist.

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