Definition - What does Bhunamanasana mean?
Translated from Sanskrit as "greeting the earth," Bhunamanasana is considered a traditional Hatha yoga posture, also known as the 'spinal twist prostration pose'.
It is a seated asana, in which the spine is twisted in an effort to reach the torso to the floor behind, with the face and palms down. Practicing this pose creates a sense of surrender to Mother Earth.
Yogapedia explains Bhunamanasana
Follow these steps to practice Bhunamanasana:
- Sit with the legs extended and back upright, hands resting on the thighs. Sitting bones should be rooted to the floor or the mat, feet flexed.
- Inhale to lift the arms parallel with the legs, and lengthen through the spine.
- Exhale to lean the body back slightly and twist to the left.
- Place the palms down on the floor behind you, bending in the elbows to lower the forehead toward the floor. Maintain length through the spine as you do this.
- Allow the breath to guide you deeper into the pose, with the exhale surrendering the upper body closer to the earth.
- While in the pose, be sure not to lift the buttocks or hips from the floor.
- Inhale to come out of the twist, lifting the body upright and extending the arms parallel to the legs.
- Exhale to return to the starting position.
This completes one round on the left side, and the same steps should be followed on the right side. This pose should be avoided by pregnant women, those with injuries in the lumbar spine, hernia or slipped disc.
Bhunamanasana improves the flexibility of the lumbar and thoracic spine, strengthening these areas and maintaining mobility in the spine. The pose aids digestion and provides a massage to the visceral organs.