Modify Parivrtta Utkatasana if needed to find safe alignment for your body.
PREVIOUS STEP IN YOGAPEDIA5 Steps to Master Revolved Powerful Pose, a.k.a. Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)
NEXT STEP IN YOGAPEDIAMore Prep Poses for Noose Pose (Pasasana)
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If your shoulders and chest are tight …
TRY keeping your hands pushing together in Anjali Mudra. Pull them down toward your navel instead of opening the arms. This requires less range of movement in your hips and knees, and helps you widen your collarbones and open your chest.
See also Work It: Standing Chair Twist
If twisting is hard for you, or your back is tender …
TRY separating your feet hip-width apart and putting a block on its highest side between your feet. Press into the block with your bottom hand and stretch your top arm straight up, revolving your chest toward the top arm. A wider stance helps you get grounded and steady, and being a little higher on the block prevents your lower spine from rounding, an action that will limit your range of motion in twists.
See also Find Your Seat of Power: Chair Pose
If you can’t quite reach your bottom hand to the floor …
TRY using a block. Place a block next to the outside of your foot (in the direction you will twist), either on the short or tall end. Pushing your bottom hand into the block will help create space across your chest and upper back. You’ll achieve more elongation in your spine and be able to deepen your breathing, too.
Learn more aboutChair Pose
Teacher Annie Carpenter is the creator of SmartFLOW Yoga, a marriage of mindful movement with compassionate, wakeful alignment. California based, she teaches globally and is the author of RelaxDEEPLY, a CD of restorative yoga, and Yoga for Total Back Care, a DVD produced by Yoga Journal. Learn more at anniecarpenter.com. Model Tiffany Russo is an LA–based SmartFLOW yoga teacher and trainer, and has assisted Carpenter with teacher trainings since 2010. You can find her teaching schedule at tiffanyrussoyoga.com.