[Pose Of the Week] Reclining Visvamitra’s Pose (Intermediate)

Release tension & stress & prepare for increased flexibility in Reclining Visvamitra’s Pose…

Reclining Visvamitra’s Pose (Supta Visvamitrasana) is an intermediate-level pose that helps prepare the body for Visvamitra’s Pose – a challenging yoga pose that combines a twist with an arm balance and an advanced hip and hamstring stretch. If you’re not quite ready for the full pose, this version will help you gain the flexibility to attempt the advanced version.

Similar to the full version of the pose, Supta Visvamitrasana will help to increase your body awareness while offering a deep stretch for the side body, outer hips, legs, and deep glute muscles.

This pose is also a great stress reliever. According to YogaJournal.com, “Opening the side waist releases tension in the intercostal muscles (the muscles that connect the ribs), which often contract when you’re under stress. Relaxing your head and neck empties your “thinking mind,” which often fidgets and tinkers with ideas of what to do with particular parts of the body.”

Be sure your hamstrings, hips, and shoulders are fully warmed up before performing this pose. Beginners can start loosening up the hamstrings to prepare for this pose by stopping at Step 3 below (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose). Those with hamstring, lower back, or hip injuries should avoid this pose.

How to Do Reclining Visvamitra’s Pose:

  1. First, lie on your back and lengthen your spine by moving your feet and the crown of your head away from each other.
  2. Reach through your left heel as you bend your right knee and pull it up toward your chest.
  3. Slowly extend your right leg up toward the sky in Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose). If your hamstrings feel tight, bend your knee slightly and stay here at the first stage of this pose.
  4. Otherwise, move into the second stage by reaching across your body and taking hold of the outside of your right foot with your left hand. Now, draw your right arm to the left through the hole formed by your left arm and right leg. (Yes, you’ll feel like a pretzel!)
  5. Roll onto your left side and place your right fingertips or your palm on the floor for support.
  6. To complete the shape, slip your head onto your left upper arm, which will require you to extend your right leg out to the side and up toward your ear. If you feel off-balance, bend your left leg.
  7. To simulate the feeling of the full Visvamitrasana, fully extend your right leg by pressing your right foot into your left hand, but listen to your hamstrings and don’t overstretch. Roll your right hip under so that your tailbone points toward your back heel. Your whole body should be on the same plane. Keep your sacrum broad: You shouldn’t feel any compression in your lower back.
  8. Stay here for 5-10 breaths. As you inhale, lengthen your legs and spine. As you exhale, allow the weight of your head to invoke relaxation.
  9. Release and repeat the pose on the other side.
Read More at YogaJournal.com


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