This restorative version of Jathara Parivritti (pronounced jat-hah-rah pah-ree-vree-tee) is a variation of the classical belly twist pose. Twists are generally understood to tone the abdominal organs and intestines; this twist also stretches the lower back and hips.
How to do it
Place both hands on your right shin and extend your left leg straight out along the floor. Extend your right arm to the side at shoulder height and bring your left hand to the outer right leg. Roll to the outer edge of your left leg and twist your right leg to the left. Place your right leg on a rectangular Chattra bolster to create a ninety degree angle between your hip, knee and ankle. Be sure to fully support the entire right foot and ankle. Adjust the height of the support as needed so that the hip of the twisted leg is the same height as its knee.
Lie on your back and hug both legs into your chest in apanasana. Inhale and straighten your arms to push your bent legs away; exhale and bend your elbows to hug your bent legs in. Repeat this movement on your breath for 6-10 cycles.
While in pose you can keep your left hand on the right thigh which creates nice leverage to deepen the stretch. An alternate arm position is both arms extend in T shape at shoulder height. Whichever arm position you choose, root both shoulders evenly to the floor beneath you. Close your eyes and notice your breath. Notice how the inhale and exhale effortlessly weave into each other. Consider imagining on each exhale the right shoulder and right knee move closer to the floor, and farther away from each other.
Stay on the right side for 5-10 minutes before untwisting and hugging both legs into your chest. Move your props to the opposite side and repeat Jathara Parivritti with the left leg.
Once you have practiced both sides, lie on your back with your knees into your chest. Take your knees as wide as your hips for wide-kneed apanasana. Engage the abdomen to root your pelvis and sacrum to the mat. Bring your hands to the inner thighs or outer thighs. Inhale and straighten your legs to make a “V” shape, exhale and return to wide-kneed apanasana. Repeat on you breath for 6-10 cycles. Hug legs into your chest and transition to seated or standing.
Jillian is a yogini based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She leads weekly public yoga classes for adults and specializes in yoga for kids and families. Her studies have led her to complete trainings at YogaWorks, Karma Kids and Yoga Playgrounds. Jillian feels blessed to practice and teach yoga and is particularly passionate about empowering her students with tools to navigate the modern world with ease.