Video Transcription – Bharadvajasana I (Bharadvaja’s Twist)

Namastey! My name is Sandeep. Today we are going to learn Bharadvaja’s Twist or Bharadvajasana I. Bharadvaj is one of the very important suptarishi.

Friends, this is a seated hip opening twisting asana and it’s a beginner level asana. If you see anatomically, your neck, your lower back, the whole of your spine, your shoulders, your hip, your abdomen is affected. When you perform this asana, this asana is stretches the shoulders, the hip, the spine and also the lats. It improves the organs of the abdomen and also improves the digestion. If you have neck pain, the lower back pain, if you have sciatica, it is very good asana. At the same time, in the 3rd trimester of the pregnancy, it helps to strengthen the lower back. It is also very good for carpal tunnel syndrome. So if you see the benefits, for the carpal tunnel syndrome, for back pain, for neck pain, for digestion, this asana can work very well. Friends, those who have carpal tunnel syndrome and during pregnancy, take a little care while performing the asana. Just do according to your own capacity. Don’t stretch beyond the capacity.

Now, let’s watch how to perform this asana. So in this, it’s a twisting asana, so both the legs should be straight. I will show you the front view first; to see how to arrange the leg and then I will show you the side view. So, first you sit in Dandasana. In Dandasana, the legs are active, the hands are active, the back is straight, neutral pelvis, shoulders open, chest open, head long, neck long and relaxes. After this, you bend your leg and the knee. So, I am being able to bend one leg and the knee. I am coming into Vajrasana. After coming into Vajrasana, you have to make sure that you are sitting on the floor. So now, those who have knee pain, they can make the things little easier by sitting in Vajrasana like this sitting on the floor and allowing the feet to be arrange like this.  But we will sit more in a traditional way. So after sitting more in a Vajrasana, one leg is bend, now, we will open that knee particularly and allow the toe to come under the heel, so that it become easier, so that particular knee, the left knee is out now.

So one knee is now, actually if you see is internally rotated. Then you allow the right leg to bend and you place the right foot on the left inner thigh. Now, one leg is bending in Ardha Padmasana or Half Lotus. This knee is internally rotated, if you noticed, so one is externally rotated and one is internally rotated. So, now let’s see this from side view, so that we can understand the twisting and how to increase the length of the spine, which is very important. So, I am going to sit in Dandasana and then I am going to bend, shifting the weight on one side, sitting Vajrasana with my left leg opening the knee and then sitting with the right leg in Ardha Padmasana. Now, in this twisting pose, it is very important that you do with ease, even if you do less that’s fine but don’t compromise much with this. After taking or arranging the position of the feet, now check if your pelvis and the buttock. Are you sitting on the buttocks, if possible? If you feel that you want some lift to make it easier, use a block, use a blanket, so that you can lift yourself, so that the pelvis can come to a neutral position easily.

With practice, even without the block, without the blanket, you can sit. So I am going to sit on the floor and practice. So, I am sitting in a neutral pelvis position. Lot of time, when people sit in  this, the hips are very tight, they can start following forward, back can start getting round, that we don’t go. We don’t want even the exaggeration of the lower back in forward position. We want the pelvis to be neutral, both the hips to be in one line and the pelvis neutral, both the buttock bone are on the floor. After taking this position, now, we are going to place the left palm below the right knee. So the foot which is up will go to the opposite side. So we place the left palm on the right knee and then we place the right hand at the line of the buttock. Now, that is a possibility that when you will perform this, if you feel that the shoulders are not in one line, and then drop the shoulder.

It is very important to keep the shoulder in one line. So after placing the left palm below the right knee, after placing the right hand behind, you can choose to come at the tip of the fingers or palm on the floor. What is more important is to make the length in the spine, so maybe you can come at the tip of the fingers either you can place tip of the fingers align with the right buttock or you can, if you want to increase the stretch, you can replace the line of the spine. Now, after placing this position, it is very important that to push this shoulder a little behind. Lot of time you know, what happens, when we keep the palm on the floor, slowly this shoulder starts coming forward.

We don’t want that. So what we are going to do is you are going to press this shoulder a little behind, and then keeping the hand down. Now, take deep breaths. Inhale as we exhale, just turn. And as you inhale now is it possible to lift from sternum and as you exhale turn a little. Inhale, exhale, turn. Now, friends, what we are going to do, we are going turn from four areas, keeping the hip down, keeping both the buttock down, we are going first from the waist region then from the chest region and from the shoulder region and turning the head as much as we can do with ease, not forcing too much. So, maintain the length every inhalation lift your side up from the upper sternum every exhalation turn further, that is more important. Place your hand, inhale, exhale, turning from the waist, inhale, exhale turning from the chest, inhale, exhale turning from the shoulder, inhale, exhale, maintain the length in the spine, don’t exaggerate your neck too much. Take wherever you are comfortable with. Keep breathing and opening every exhalation bring this opportunity to open a little more.

Every exhalation brings this opportunity to open a little more. And now, you find it difficult just holds there and keep breathing softly and gently but keeping in mind that you are still in the neutral pelvis. You are still becoming tall in the same time so the base is nice and firm and your spine is nice and tall. If you want you can keep a block to support your hands nicely. After holding here about 5 to 7 minutes, gently release your head, your shoulder, your right hand, then your left hand and then straighten the leg one by one. Friends, this is a beginner level twist. Don’t compromise with your spine when you want to turn. People they turn without taking care of the spine and that is the reason why instead of benefiting much it actually hampers to some extent, so even if you do less, that is fine, but do it correctly and properly

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