Seated Spinal Twist In A Chair (Bharadvajasana)

Type : Seated

Justification : Twist, restorative twist

Complimentary Posture :  self-complimentary,  Malasana in a chair.


Physical Benefits :  Tones and stretches the spinal muscles, relieves stiffness in the neck and shoulders, relieves arthritus in the lower back, tones the abdominal muscles, improves digestion and relieves rheumatism in the knees.


Therapeutic Benefits :  Aids in digestion, relieving constipation and stimulates the pancreas and insulin secretion thus helping with diabetic disorders. Also good for relieving stress.


Limitations :   To be avoided if you have diarrhea, bronchitus, insomnia, headache or migraine.

How To Practice :


Find a chair with a hollow back to it. Sit sideways into it pressing your left hip into the back. Align the feet as well as the knees  (better yet, grab a block and place it between the knees, this way you’ll see the alignement in both of your legs as you go !) On the inhale lift up through the spine towards the ceiling. As you turn to face the chair back, grab hold of the chair back with the right hand as you press the palm of the left hand against the other side. Again, inhale as you lengthen the spine and on the exhale twist to the left. Now observe the knees- has the left one moved back ? Align the  right hip with the left one,  knees  firmly together and start the twist again  keeping the hips and knees squarely aligned. Roll the shoulders back and down, lift the sternum and relax the abdomen.   Lengthen the sides of the trunk as you move your back ribs in and up, in a circular motion towards the upper front ribs.    Breathe 4-6 breaths continuing to extend the spine on the inhales and to twist deeper into the posture on the exhales.  Come back and change sides, shifting the right hip to the chair back. Repeat on the other side.

This is an adaptation of the classic pose which is usually studied seated on the floor. This is a perfect variant for practioners recovering from an illness, who are overweight or for elderly people.