Bharadvajasana is a seated twisting yoga pose as well as a binding pose.
One of the reasons that I like this yoga pose so much, especially when grabbing my foot from behind my back, is that it tends to “release” my lower back. (Another good pose for “releasing the lower back” this is triangle pose.)
In Bharadvajasana one leg is in hero position with the shin folded to the outside of the thigh. The other leg is in lotus with the top of the foot on top of the other thigh.
As a beginner, it might be hard for you to perfect laying the weight of your entire body on the twisting side. You might end up tilting on that side, which will lead to compression of the lower back. To avoid this, raise your buttock using a blanket that is folded thickly. Then, consciously sink your buttocks towards the floor.
Benefits of Bharadvajasana
Bharadvajasana stretches the spine, torso, shoulders, and hips. It is a belly-open pose, which makes it a safe twist for women who are pregnant. Twisting your torso in this pose massages and positively stimulates the organs of your torso, which improves digestion, regulates metabolism, and aids the organs in detoxification. Bharadvajasana also helps to relieve lower back pain, neck pain, and sciatica.
Like all twists in yoga, Bharadvajasana helps to relieve stress by “squeezing out” the anxiety and negative emotions of daily life, just like wringing out a sponge. It restores balance and equanimity to mind, body, and spirit — leaving the practitioner in a calmer, more graceful state of mind, even off the mat.
How to do Bharadvajasana
- Begin sitting in Staff pose (Dandasana). Shift to your left, bend your knees, and swing your legs to the right. Rest your right ankle in the arch of your left foot.
- Lengthen your spine. Exhale and twist to the left.
- Tuck your right hand underneath your left knee. Then grasp your upper right arm with your left hand by placing your left arm behind your back. Exhale and continue twisting the torso to the left.
- Gaze over your left shoulder
- Stay in this pose for up to one minute. Exhale to release and repeat on the opposite side.