Bharadvajasana

Bharadvajasana is a spinal twist that offers a gentle massage to the internal organs with special emphasis on the digestive system.  The awakening of energy along the spine brings a stress relieving boost to the parasympathetic nervous system elevating mood and increasing energy flow throughout the whole body.

Bharadvajasana was named after Bharadvaja one of the seven great Seers and father of Drona who was the Pandavas family’s (Arjuna’s family’s) Guru.

Health Benefits: Increased blood circulation, toned spinal nerves, increased energy flow, stress relief, detoxification, increased flexibility in the hips and shoulders.

Beginner/Intermediate Bharadvajasana  – a step by step guide

1)  Sit on your mat with your legs outstretched in front of you.

2)  Shift weight to your right buttock and fold your knees, bringing your feet to rest on your left hand side.

3)  Rest the top of your left foot inside the arch of your right foot.

4)  Sink your tail bone to the earth and inhale up your spine making sure your shoulders are relaxed and the top of your head parallel with the ceiling - exhale

5)  Inhale your right arm up and place your hand down on the mat behind you. – Exhale

6)  Inhale the back and front of your spine/neck long, place your left hand on your left knee and slowly rotate your heart, head and gaze, to the right, making sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and tailbone down.

7)  Lightly engage your stomach muscles

To release from the pose, slowly unwind the twist on the exhalation bringing your head and torso back to centre, and release your hand and legs.

Adaptations to the pose

Problem:
Difficulty sitting with your legs to the side:

Solution:
Place a blanket under your right buttock or start the asana from Vradjasana/Kneeling pose.

Problem:
Difficulty reaching the hand behind your back to the floor

Solution:
Either place your hand on a block behind you, or to a place where you are able to rest it comfortably on the floor, or bring it around your back and hold your left arm

Advanced Bharadvajasana – a step by step guide

1)  Sit on your mat with your legs outstretched in front of you.

2)  Shift weight to your right buttock and fold your knees, bring your feet to rest on your left hand side.

3)  Bring the top of your right foot to rest on the inside of your left thigh as if in half lotus

4)  Sink the tail bone to the earth and inhale up the spine making sure your shoulders are relaxed and the top of your head parallel with the ceiling

5)  On the exhalation, begin twisting the heart, head and gaze to your right bringing your right hand behind your back to either rest on the floor behind you or to hold onto your right foot.

6)  Bring the top of your left hand to rest either under your right knee or on top of your right thigh.  Make sure your heart is open and your shoulders, relaxed.

7)  Either send your gaze to look over your right shoulder to continue the twist, or turn the head to the look over your left shoulder for a counter twist to the neck.

To release from the pose, slowly unwind the twist on the exhalation bringing your head and torso back to centre, and release your hand and legs.

For adaptations to the pose, please see Beginner/Intermediate Bharadvajasana  – a step by step guide, and Adaptations to the Pose

* Note: Twists are usually done at the end of an asana sequence in order to re-align the spine, prior to relaxation