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Twist Yoga Poses

3 Prep Poses for Side Crane Pose

Warm up your legs and spine in these prep poses from Tias Little for Parsva Bakasana.

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Warm up your legs and spine in these prep poses for Parsva Bakasana.

Parivrtta Utkatasana

Revolved Chair Pose

Revolved Chair Pose

Benefits

Builds strength and stamina in the quadriceps and outer hips; generates a fierce and powerful inner feeling

Instruction

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet together. On an inhale, raise your left arm upward; with an exhale, bend your knees and hook your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. This is the same elbow latch you will use in Side Crane. Now bring your hands together in Anjali Mudra, press down into your heels, raise your arches, and draw your inner legs together. On an exhale, pin your left elbow to your outer right thigh and use this as leverage to turn to the right and elongate your spine from tailbone to crown. Stay 30 seconds to 1 minute. Return to center and take Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). Then, bring your hands to your waist, elongate your spine, and rise back to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side. Follow with Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), breathing into your side ribs and belly.

See also 5 Steps to Master Revolved Chair Pose

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana

Revolved Side Angle Pose

Revolved Side Angle Pose

Benefits

Stabilizes the outer hip; makes the lower spine elastic; compresses the abdominal organs to increase blood flow and lymph flow

Instruction

Start with your feet 3.5–4 feet apart, right leg forward and left leg back. Align heel to heel and come into High Lunge (or set your back knee to the floor). Pin your left elbow to your outer right knee. Bring your hands into Anjali Mudra, exhale, and turn your navel to your inner right thigh. Descend your right sitting bone as you align your right knee over your right ankle. Extend through your inner back heel and lengthen your inner back leg. Stay 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side. Follow with Down Dog.

See alsoTwist Peacefully Into Revolved Side Angle Pose

Pasasana

Noose Pose, variation

Noose Pose, variation

Benefits

Elasticizes the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon; strengthens the muscular attachments at the outer pelvis; cultivates Mula Bandha

Instruction

Take Tadasana with a wall 3 feet behind you; squat. Place your right hand to the wall, fingers up. Root through your heels; if they lift, use a blanket or rolled mat. Raise your left arm; on your exhale, latch left elbow to outer right knee. Keep your feet together. Elevate your spine, spread your right sternum and collarbone toward the wall, and descend your right shoulder blade. Stay 30–60 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Follow with Down Dog at the wall, heels elevated 2 inches, to elongate the lumbar spine.

See also3 Prep Poses for Noose Pose (Pasasana)

About Our Pro
Tias Little is the founder of Prajna Yoga (prajnayoga.net) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the author of three books, including Yoga of the Subtle Body. His teachings interweave various disciplines, including meditative arts, classical yoga, and Buddhist studies.