Bharadvajasana (Bharadvaja's Twist)
This asana can be performed as follows;
- Sit on the floor with the legs straightened out. Shift over onto the right buttock, bend the knees and swing your legs to the left. Lay the feet on the floor outside the left hip, with left ankle resting in right arch.
- Inhale and lift top of the sternum to lengthen the front torso upward to the ceiling. Then exhale and twist your torso to the right, keeping the left buttock on or very close to the floor.
- Place your left hand under the right knee and bring the right hand to the floor just beside the right buttock, or around the back of the waist, palm facing outward and if possible clasping the left arm. Lengthen your tailbone towards the floor to keep the lower back long and straightened. Soften your belly.
- Pull the left shoulder back slightly, pressing the shoulder blades firmly against the back, even as you continue to twist the chest to the right.
- The head can turn in two directions now continue twisting the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it to the left and looking over the left shoulder.
- As you breathe in or inhale lift a little more through the sternum, using the push of the fingers on the floor to help; with every exhalation you must twist a little more. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Release with an exhalation, returning to the starting point and repeat it on the left for the same duration of time.
The various benefits of this asana are:
- Helps in providing relief from stress.
- This asana mainly works on the upper back relieving the stress, strain or tension in the muscles.
- Brings about the stretching of the spine, shoulders and hips.
- Massages the abdominal organs.
- Provides relief from lower backache, neck pain and sciatica.
- Improve digestion.
- Also is therapeutic value for individuals suffering from Carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Also especially useful in the second trimester of pregnancy bringing about the stretching of and strengthening of the lower back.
Precautionary measures that must be followed in this asana are:
- Should not be performed in diarrhea.
- Must be avoided in low as well as high blood pressure.
- Also should be avoided during menstruation.