Asana of the Month: Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Twist)


Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. Contributed by Asana Girl (aka Danielle Polen)


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


As yoga teacher and Yoga Journal columnist Denise Benitez writes: “almost everyone loves to twist, because these poses bring such a release, no matter what your level of ability or physical condition. And the benefits of twists are many; besides the immediate gratification of the way they feel as you do them, they tone and cleanse your organs, release and strengthen the muscles of your spine and neck, and allow you to open and strengthen your shoulder joints. At the beginning of a practice, twists gently open up your spine, and at the end of a practice, they align and quiet the nervous system.” She recommends practicing twists “anytime you feel distracted, anxious, fatigued, or agitated, for a deep renewal of body and spirit.”


Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja’s Twist): 


Benefits (according to yogajournal.com):

  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips
  • Massages the abdominal organs
  • Relieves lower backache, neck pain, and sciatica
  • Helps relieve stress
  • Improves digestion

Cautions/Contraindications:
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Low blood pressure


Preparatory Poses:
  • Baddha Konasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana
  • Utthita Trikonasana
  • Virabadrasana II
  • Virasana   

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

Quiet Riot’s “Twisted,” from the 1995 album “Down to the Bone”


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