[Pose Of the Week] Stretch & Twist with Bharadvaja’s Twist II Pose (Intermediate)

Give your hips and shoulders a deep stretch with Bharadvaja’s Twist II – an intermediate-level seated yoga twist pose that helps to improve flexibility throughout the body…

Bharadvaja’s Twist II Pose (Bharadvajasana II) is a more advanced variation of Bharadvaja’s Twist which provides a greater stretch to the hips and shoulders. This is a less common seated twist pose which can provide a number of benefits, including improved flexibility and mobility in the shoulders, back, hamstrings, hips, knees, ankles, and neck. It also helps to improve posture and core strength, and teaches us patience and dedication.

To modify the pose, you may wish to sit on a block or folded blanket. According to DoYouYoga.com, “Allowing the knees to fall below the hips will alleviate the pressure in the knees and hips, making the twist more attainable.”

Use extra caution or avoid this pose if you have any knee, hip, or spinal issues. This can be a challenging pose, so be sure to move slowly and mindfully throughout this pose and pay attention to your body. If you feel any pain, adjust, modify, or skip this one.

How to Do Bharadvaja’s Twist II:

1. Begin in Staff Pose, seated with both legs extended and elongate through the spine.

2. From here, bend the right knee bringing the leg into Half Hero Pose (by situating the right heel just outside of the right hip and resting the right shin on the ground). Be careful to keep your knee in line with your hip to protect your knee.

3. Next, bring the left leg into Half Lotus Pose. To do this, bend the left knee and situate the blade of the left foot to rest on the right hip crease. Relax the hips, allowing the knee to settle toward the ground.

4. Inhale and elongate through the spine. Then exhale and begin to wrap the left arm around the back until the fingers reach the left foot for a bind.

5. Inhale, lengthening again before twisting to the left on the exhale. Extend the right arm to the left, placing the back of the right hand to top of the left knee. (Advanced Option: Tuck the right fingers underneath the grounded left knee.) Gaze to the left.

6. Settle into Bharadvajasana II with 8-10 deep rounds of ujjayi breath. Work backwards to come out of the twist and then repeat on the opposite side.

Read more & see pictures of each step at DoYouYoga.com


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