Bharadvaja was one of the seven great sages according to ancient Indian history and mythology, and as a result, this pose, Bharadvajasana Twist, is named for him. This simple seated yoga position focuses on gently twisting the spine to one side while turning the shoulders perpendicular to the floor with the hip as the base.
This pose, also known as Seated Spinal Twist Pose, puts the shoulders and lower back’s flexibility to the test.
Despite being a very simple seated pose, Bharadvajasana Twist is powerful because it captures the tenacity and devotion of the great sage Bharadvaja. As a result, one must be patient and maintain mental peace while concentrating on the twist to achieve the benefits of this pose.
Bharadvajasana is a yoga warm-up pose to prepare the body for more challenging poses and yoga flows.
Steps for Bharadvajasana Twist:
- Sit on the mat with your legs out in front of you. With the fingers pointing to the feet, place the palms on the floor on either side of the hips. Keep your back straight; this pose is known as Dandasana.
- Bring both feet to the right side of the hips by bending the knees and pulling the legs back.
- Place the right palm of your right hand on the outside of the left thigh, close to the left knee, while keeping your right arm straight. Rest your buttocks on the floor. Place your right hand so that the palm of your right hand touches the ground underneath your left knee.
- After exhaling, clasp the right upper arm just above the right elbow with your left hand and bring your left arm from your shoulder behind your back.
- Look over the right shoulder with the neck turned to the right.
- Maintain this position for a minimum of 60 seconds while inhaling deeply.
- Untwist the posture to release it, then repeat the process on the opposite side, holding the position for the same amount of time.
Benefits of Bharadvajasana:
Enhancing the Parasympathetic Nervous System:
The flow of prana along the spine in Bharadvajasana helps to relieve stress as the spine is gently twisted from the sacrum, its base.
This increases the parasympathetic nervous system, which is in charge of “rest-and-digest,” or bodily functions that occur when the body is at rest, particularly after eating.
Oblique muscles are strengthened:
Bharadvajasana Twist requires flexibility in the oblique muscles, which are a part of the abdominal wall, to turn and twist the torso.
With continued practice of the Seated Spinal Twist Pose, these muscles’ strength and flexibility increase.
These muscles serve important purposes, including helping to flex the torso, support the abdominal wall, and rotate the trunk. They also help to make the rib cage flexible.
- Stretches the hips and shoulders: The shoulders also receive a deep stretch, along with the spine. Flexing the lower back also gives the hips a light stretch. Stretching also increases flexibility by loosening the muscles in the hips and shoulders.
- Cervical pain treatment: In the seated spinal twist pose, the neck muscles at the top of the spine receive a gentle massage. At the same time, the shoulders stretch deeply to one side, relieving any cervicalgia-related pain. To achieve better results, keep in mind to twist slowly and stay longer.
- Curative measures for carpal tunnel syndrome: The tissue between the forearm and the hand expands and contracts when the wrists are compressed while being placed on the floor and while the other wrists are being taken from behind, creating the proper energy. With this flexing, carpal tunnel pain can be reduced, if not eliminated.
- Activates the abdominal muscles: According to yoga, the navel is the human body’s center. In this pose, Bharadvajasana, the lower abdomen is gently twisted so that the area closest to the navel receives strengthened massaged muscles. Strengthened muscles also aid in better digestion.
- Lower back pain is relieved: Although this pose is gentle on the lower back, it aids in the slow relief of any lower back pain located near the sacrum while bringing in new blood flow through the twist. However, one must twist slowly and keep an eye on their breathing while performing the pose.
- Enhances the energy throughout the entire body: If the hips and shoulders are flexible, the prana flow from the base of the spine increases the body’s energy level, providing a quick boost while lowering stress.
- Reduces pain associated with sciatica: While seated in Bharadvajasana, placing some blankets below the hips for better support can help to reduce pain associated with the sciatic nerve. The blood circulation is improved along with muscle flexing when one hip is given a gentle massage while the torso leans to one side. Consequently, regular practice can gradually lessen sciatica-related symptoms.
- Benefits arthritis and strengthens the joints:When there is a disorder in the joints, it results in arthritis, which causes pain, swelling, and stiffness. The twists at hip joint, wrist joint, knee joint, and the ankle joint play a good role in activating these joints when performing Bharadvajasana. The better results are anticipated, the longer one can sit in this position.
- Enhances good posture while aligning the spine and the entire body: One doesn’t realize how slowly the spine’s natural shape alters with prolonged sitting. The upper back and lower back are both bothered by this. Thus, by regularly practicing this pose, the spine’s original shape is preserved, giving the body a great appearance.
- Excellent pose for women who suffer from hormonal imbalances: Women of all ages find that twisting their lower abdomens is particularly effective when battling the symptoms of hormonal imbalance This position balances the release of hormones by giving the reproductive organs a gentle massage.
Contraindications for Bharadvajasana:
When there is hip pain, stay away from it:
When performing this pose while suffering from a hip injury, be careful and take safety measures because the pressure placed on one hip while twisting is greater. Injury to the hips will make the pain and discomfort worse.
Because proper spine alignment is crucial, it should never be performed without assistance:
In the seated spinal twist pose, one typically balances the body on one hip only while performing the twist. As a result, the spine is out of alignment. It is best to seek professional advice before entering this pose to receive better instructions and maximize your benefits.
- If you are not flexible at the hips, you should use blankets to support them. The goal of this pose is not just to twist but to twist while maintaining proper spinal and shoulder alignment. Consequently, it is best to support the buttocks with appropriate blankets if the hips are raised off the floor while the torso is being turned.
- Even though this pose is generally beneficial for cervical pain, it is best to avoid it if one is experiencing severe neck pain or has any type of injury to the neck. Seek advice from a professional for the same as well. The neck and shoulders should also be protected from any injury.
Anyone with a cardiac condition:
Since the pose’s gentle twist is said to activate the Anahata Chakra, anyone who is just getting better from a cardiac condition should go slowly or get assistance from a professional. This is because the twist’s breathing is very important.
High blood pressure or low blood pressure:
Anyone with either condition should go slowly or, better yet, seek professional assistance during practice. This is because breathing is crucial to the twist, and any breath holding while twisting will be uncomfortable.