Vakrasana, Simple Spinal Twist
वक्रासन / Vakrasana
vakra: “twisted” or “crooked”
Vakrasana (vakra āsana) massages the abdominal organs, helps facilitate digestion and regulates the secretion of digestive juices. These reduce constipation and stomach diseases. The twist also helps reduce belly fat. It increases the elasticity of the spine and relieves vertebrae stiffness. Additionally, it stretches the hip joints and the legs.
Ashtavakra was the son of sage Aruni’s daughter, Sujata, and Kahoda. When Sujata was pregnant, her baby heard the chanting of Vedas and learned correct recitation. According to legend, Kahoda was reciting the Vedas and did not have correct intonation. The baby corrected his father; Kahoda responded by cursing his son. Ashtavakra was born crooked with eight bends, which is what Ashtavakra means.
The twisted, crooked nature of Vakrasana stimulates the Navel (Manipura) Chakra. This pose will empower you and increase your energy. It will also improve your sense of self and increase your self-esteem.
Avoid this asana if you have ulcers, slipped disc, or severe spine, shoulder, or hip injury. Also, as a closed twist, women who are pregnant should avoid this pose.