Bharadvaja’s Twist also known as Lotus in Hero Pose, or Bharadvajasana, is a wonderful wringing movement which squeezes toxins out of the entire central core. It releases stress and brings blood flow to the abdominal area. The pose builds flexibility which is then useful for other poses. Note that Bharadvaja’s Twist comes in a number of variations, depending on leg position. Each provides a different style of flexibility.
1.)Begin in Staff Pose. Sit up straight with your legs out straight in front of you. Shift your weight to your left and curl your feet in to the right. Your feet should end up by your right hip.
2.) Inhale and lift your spine up, both buttocks should be on the floor. Exhale, and twist your torso toward the left.
3.) With your left hand, reach back and grab your left foot. Place your right hand under your left knee.
4.) Now, twist your body to the left and look behind you on the mat. Lift tall. Bring the shoulder blades back to deepen the twist.
5.) With each inhale, lift yourself a bit taller. With each exhale, deepen the twist a bit further. Hold for thirty to sixty seconds.
6.) Release. Do the reverse twist.
Bharadvaja’s Twist is a wonderful pose to release stress and anxiety. Its gentle twisting motion wrings out negativity and tension from the body, all the way from the toes up to the head.
Bharadvaja’s Twist helps immensely with digestion issues. If areas are blocked or stopped up, this twist helps to bring more blood flow into the stomach and digestive tract area. It also gently wrings and releases the various sections, helping items to pass through. Always ensure you’re eating enough natural fiber and hydrating as well for optimal digestive health.
Bharadvaja’s Twist benefits a number of body areas. It can help with neck pain, back pain, and the wrist pain associated with carpal tunnel syndrome. Always be attentive to your body’s signals so you are easing the symptoms rather than exacerbating them.
If you would like to take this pose even further, reach your left hand around your back. Bring your left foot up onto your right hip. Take your left foot in your left hand so they are touching your right hip. Lift tall and breathe.
If you find while you’re doing the twist that your opposite buttocks comes up off the floor, use a towel or folded blanket beneath it to provide that stability. You want both halves of your buttocks to be firmly supported as you do this twist, and your spine entirely straight.
A good way to begin practicing with this pose is to sit in a chair rather than down on a mat. Use a straight-back chair and sit on it sideways so the back of the chair is against your left side. Twist to the left and hold onto the chair back with both hands. Then reverse how you sit in the chair and twist the opposite way. That exercise will provide you with the stability you need to start building that flexibility.
This twist can benefit the neck in multiple ways. First, the normal operation of the twist lets the neck gently rotate both in a clockwise and counterclockwise manner. Then, to add to that, while you are holding the pose, twist your neck in the opposite direction, against the twist of the spine. This helps to add flexibility to the pose.
If the “forward” arm (the left arm, in the first part of this example) is having trouble reaching the mat, use a block so that your hand can rest on something firm.