How to do Yogendra Vakrasana?

Yogendra Vakrasana – the (spinal) twist pose. Cultural Asanas–for torsion of the spine.

As the name suggests, it is a simple and easy asana for giving the spinal column a half twist.

Classical pose:

Starting position:

  1. Sit on the mat, legs fully stretched forward, toes together– pointing upwards and hands beside the body, palms resting on mat.
  2. Keep the back straight–neck and head in line, chin tucked in and held parallel to the ground.
  3. Stretch both the hands forward and raise them to the shoulder level–palms facing down, maintaining a “shoulder width” distance between them. Inhale normally.

Sequence of steps:

  1. Exhaling in 3 seconds, slowly swing the hands to the right, as far as possible, twisting the spine.
  2. Move the neck, shoulders and the hands as one unit, gaze fixed on the right thumb.
  3. Maintain the hands parallel to each other and the feet aligned straight.
  4. Do not lean back while twisting.
  5. Ensure the movements are smooth, without jerks.
  6. Ensure no movement below the waist.
  7. Twisting has to be done to one’s capacity (do not strain).
  8. Immediately inhaling, in 3 seconds, return to the starting position.
  9. Without pause, exhaling, in 3 seconds, shift the gaze to the left thumb and repeat the above steps to the left, to complete 1 round.

Variation-1 (Standing):

Starting position:

  1. Stand on the mat with the feet 24 inches apart, parallel to each other.
  2. Keep the back straight–neck and head in line, chin tucked in and held parallel to the ground.
  3. Stretch both the hands forward and raise them to the shoulder level, palms facing down, maintaining a “shoulder width” distance between them. Inhale normally.

Sequence of steps:

  1. Exhaling, in 3 seconds, slowly swing the hands to the right, twisting the spine; keeping the hands parallel to each other, as far as possible. Bending the left hand at the elbow, continue swinging the right arm (kept straight) as far back as comfortably possible, gaze fixed on the right thumb.
  2. Move the neck, shoulders and the right hand as one unit.
  3. Do not lean back while twisting.
  4. Ensure the movements are smooth, without jerks
  5. Twisting has to be done to one’s capacity (do not strain).
  6. Immediately inhaling, in 3 seconds, return to the starting position.
  7. Without pause, exhaling, in 3 seconds, shift the gaze to the left thumb and repeat the above steps to the left, to complete 1 round.

Variation-2 (Supine):

Starting position:

  1. Lay supine on the mat, legs stretch forward and hands by the sides.
  2. Keep the back and shoulders firmly rested on the mat.
  3. Stretch the arms out, perpendicular to the body.
  4. Now, fold the legs at the knees and draw the ankles in. Keep the feet and knees together, perpendicular to the floor. Inhale normally.

Sequence of steps:

  1. Exhaling, in 3 seconds, gently let the legs fall together to the left, to allow the left knee to rest on the floor and the right leg resting upon the left one.
  2.  Simultaneously, turn the neck to the right, to gaze at the right thumb.
  3.  Maintain this pose for 6 seconds, with the breath suspended (final position).
  4.  Move the legs and pelvis as one unit.
  5.  Keep the back and shoulders firmly rested on the floor.
  6.  Twisting has to be done to one’s capacity (do not strain).
  7.  Inhaling, in 3 seconds, return to the starting position.
  8.  Without pause, exhaling, in 3 seconds, repeat the above steps to the right, to complete 1 round.

Variation-3 (Supine):

Starting position: Same as above, except that the feet are kept apart. Inhale normally.

Sequence of steps:

  1. Exhaling, in 3 seconds, gently let the legs fall together to the left, to allow the knees to rest on the floor (the right knee resting on the floor near the left ankle).
  2. Simultaneously, turn the neck to the right, to gaze at the right thumb.
  3. Maintain this pose for 6 seconds, with the breath suspended (final position).
  4. Move the legs and pelvis as one unit.
  5. Keep the back and shoulders firmly rested on the floor.
  6. Twisting has to be done to one’s capacity (do not strain).
  7. Inhaling, in 3 seconds, return to the starting position.
  8. Without pause, exhaling, in 3 seconds, repeat the above steps to the right, to complete 1 round.

Recommended practice: Practice 3-4 rounds in one session, with a pause in-between each round.

Limitations/Contraindications: Severe back pain, abdominal inflammations, ulcers, sciatica.

Benefits:

  1. Alternately, exercises and relaxes the spinal muscles.
  2. Gently exercises the abdominal and back muscles.
  3. Lower back- strengthens muscles, relieves stiffness and alleviates pain.
  4. Trims the waist line and reduces abdominal fats

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2 Comments
  • Yoga Training Rishikesh
    Posted at 16:28h, 30 July Reply

    Hello. Thanks for sharing. Do check my blog to know more on Yoga Training in Rishikesh.

  • Tapiram patil
    Posted at 22:52h, 02 August Reply

    very very nice article sir and helpful and healthful to everyone.

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