The Prayer Twist, aka Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
In Sanskrit, the word parivrtta means to turn around and twist.
The word is usually placed before the name of the pose, either standing or seated.
Prayer Twist is a relatively challenging standing pose.
It provides a strong twist for the whole torso, while strengthening the lower body.
It helps realign the spine while building endurance and flexibility in the hips and legs.
The pose can be modified by lowering the back knee to the floor to make it a gentler pose for the legs and to allow the spine to move more easily into the twist.
1. Let’s start with the downward facing dog pose.
2. Mindfully step the left foot between your hands and come up to a lunge position. This is when you can modify the pose by lowering your right knee to the floor.
3. Bring your palms together in a prayer position in front of your heart, as shown in the photo at left.
Inhale deeply, press your shoulders away from your ears, lift your heart and lengthen the sides of your body.
4. As you exhale, mindfully twist your upper body to the left and place your right elbow against the outside of your left knee, as shown in the photo at right.
5. Keep your spine long and your core muscles engaged.
6. Slowly turn your gaze to the left, or twist a little deeper and look up toward the ceiling. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Keep practicing! Namaste.
Disclaimer: Do not begin any physical activity described in this column without prior approval from your health care professional.