Prayer Twist

Tracey Kelley
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Prayer Twist has many benefits.

In Sanskrit, Parsvokonasana means "side" and "angle." Certain versions of this asana have compound names based on the actual full position, so you may also see it referred to as Parivritta Parsvokonasana, Salambha Parivrtta Parsvokonasana, or Parivritta Parsvokonasana with Anjali Mudra.

About Prayer Twist

Prayer Twist has many variations, so it is accessible for all skill levels. There are many benefits of Prayer Twist, as it:

  • Strengthens the lower body.
  • Opens the chest and reduces asthma symptoms.
  • Stretches the back and lengthens the spine.

Step into the Pose

To Perform Prayer Twist:

  1. Begin in whatever version of Warrior Pose is comfortable for you.
  2. Bring the right foot down and bend at the knee.
  3. On an exhale, lower the torso down and rest the right elbow on the knee.
  4. Inhale and bring the hands into Anjali Mudra.
  5. On the exhale, twist left over the knee, shoulders down from the ears, back straight. The left elbow should be parallel to the right. The head stays in line with the spine and the forward gaze is soft.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute, and repeat on the other side.
Get a feel for the pose and build strength with this modified version.

Beginner

If you find that a lunge version of this posture would be too difficult, sink into a crouch. Make sure you can see your toes to avoid strain on the knees. Twist as far as is comfortable.

Advanced

Activating the legs adds considerable power to this pose. Extend a leg straight back to deepen the posture.

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Prayer Twist