Beginner Yoga FAQs

Roll Call

—Trudy Lai from Sabah, Malaysia

Read Desiree Rumbaugh’s reply:

The practice of rolling to the right has a symbolic as well as a physiological basis. In India, it is considered more auspicious to enter a holy place with the right foot, and in many parts of the world, we extend our right hand in greeting. The right side also represents the east; rolling toward the east, or the rising sun, symbolizes asking for blessings, grace, and bliss.

Physiologically, since your heart is on the left, when you roll to the right, it remains open and free of pressure. Rolling to the right also keeps the ida nadi (one of the main channels of prana, or the life force, which corresponds to cooling energy) active and helps keep your body in a state of calmness as you come into a sitting position.

Desiree Rumbaugh, a certified Anusara teacher and co-owner of Arizona Yoga in Scottsdale, Arizona, teaches workshops and leads retreats internationally. She can be contacted through