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Yoga Poses

Master Bharadvaja’s Twist II

Brings flexibility to your knees, ankles, and feet in Bharadvaja's Twist II

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NEXT STEP IN YOGAPEDIA Modify Bharadvaja’s Twist II for a Strong Foundation

Bharadvaja = a Vedic sage · asana = pose


Brings flexibility to your knees, ankles, and feet; increases mobility in your shoulders and spine; focuses awareness on your core.


1. Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose), extending out through your inner heels and bringing your mid-thighs down toward the floor. 
Lift your chest and roll your shoulders 
back and down. Take your right hand to 
the inside of your right knee and move your knee out to the side. Lean forward and carefully place your right foot at your left hip crease in Ardha Padmasana (Half Lotus Pose). Extend from your right inner groin 
to your right inner knee, roll your inner knee toward your outer knee, then draw your outer knee toward your outer hip. Your overall goal is exterior rotation of the right thigh.

2. Lean to the right and bend your left leg back into Virasana (Hero Pose) so that your inner left calf touches your left outer thigh. Roll your left calf flesh out to bring your thighbone and shinbone closer together. 
Lift and move your right buttock closer to your left buttock. Keep your left knee in line with your left hip and then, if possible, manually position your right leg so that the knee aligns with its own hip. 

3. As you inhale, lift your abdomen and chest. As you exhale, turn to the right, and place the back of your left hand on your right outer knee. Tuck your fingers under 
your knee, pointing your fingers to the left. 

4. Exhale and reach your right hand behind your back to clasp your right foot. Inhaling, lift your abdomen and chest again. Exhaling, turn to the right and gaze forward, or look over your right shoulder as much as you 
can without straining your neck. 

5. Stay here for 30 seconds to a minute. 
To come out, carefully bring your right leg 
to the floor and then extend both legs back to Dandasana. Repeat on the other side.

See also 3 Poses to Relieve Low Back Pain in Twists 

Avoid These Common Mistakes 

Don’t let your Virasana leg decentralize or stray too far from the centerline of the pose. To protect your knee from injury, keep it in line with your hip. 

Don’t let your Padmasana leg lift off the floor. When it 
hangs unsupported, you risk injury to your hip, knee, and ankle. Instead, add support (see page 54) or come out of the pose.  

See also 3 Steps to Get Into Bharadvaja’s Twist

About Our Pro
Iyengar Yoga instructor Koren Paalman studied with B.K.S. Iyengar and his daughter Geeta, and has been teaching yoga since 1995 to both adults and youths in a variety of settings. In 2007, Paalman founded Conscious Grieving, a grief-support service that combines yoga with other modalities in individual consultations and workshops nationally. Learn more at