Stretch, strengthen, and twist as you move and balance in Shiva Twist Pose…
Shiva Twist Pose (Parivrtta Natarajasana) – also sometimes known as Twisted Dancer Pose – is a standing beginner-level yoga pose that provides benefits for the core, hips, back, and more. This simple pose requires both balance and flexibility, and it is a great way to build core strength, stretch the hips and lower back, and improve your balance and posture. It also strengthens the ankles and legs, and stretches the thighs, shoulders, and chest. This pose is also believed to activate the Solar Plexus chakra for motivation, personal power, and self-esteem. It is also thought to massage the internal organs, stimulate digestion, and improve memory, concentration, and focus, and it is a natural mood booster.
This is usually performed as a dynamic pose, which means you will twist back and forth from one side to the other, rather than holding as a static pose. This pose is common in standing Kundalini yoga sequences.
Use caution when performing this pose if you suffer from vertigo or low blood pressure. If needed, you can do this pose next to a wall and touch your hand to the wall as you twist, or keep a chair handy for balance if you need it.
How to Do Shiva Twist Pose:
1.) Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale, and shift your weight onto the right foot, while bending your left knee and lifting your foot. Keep your right leg straight and strong, pulling the knee cap upward and imagining the right thigh bone sinking into the hip joint to engage the thigh muscles. Root the foot of your standing leg to the floor, as if your foot is growing roots into the ground.
2.) Hold your arms up at right angles, elbows bent and palms facing forward. Twist your torso towards the bent leg as you continue to lift your left foot until your thigh is parallel to the floor and knee forms a 90-degree angle. Keep the left foot flexed.
4.) Hold only briefly, then exhale and lower the left foot, be sure your leg is stable and strong, and repeat on the opposite side, twisting your torso towards the right knee.
5.) Continue to rotate and switch back and forth for 5-10 repetitions as though marching, inhaling as the knee lifts and exhaling as you lower the foot.
Image Source: YogaBasics.com