Jathara Parivrtti (Supine Abdominal Twist) two legs
How to do it
Begin on your back with your knees bent and feet up, arms extended out to the sides.
Exhale: Gradually contract your abdomen and bring your knees down to your right while turning your head to your left.
Inhale: Bring your knees back up, turning your head back to the center.
Continue to move, alternating sides and then stay in the pose.
Breathing in Jathara Parivrtti one leg
Inhale: Lengthen your spine.
Exhale: Progressively engage your abdomen and gently deepen the twist by turning your lower body one way and your upper body in the opposite direction. Be sure that your upper back stays on the floor and try to slide your top knee forward to align it over the bottom knee.
TRICK: Keep your upper back on the floor at all times to avoid shoulder and neck strain. If your shoulder keeps lifting off the ground, limit the range of motion of your knees. Instead of leveraging yourself with your hand in the pose, initiate and deepen the twist from your abdomen.
Upper body twist
Jathara Parivrtti: Upper body twist is useful for targeting the upper body, especially the upper back and chest areas. Since your legs are staying stationary, there is less risk of torquing your lower back; that is why this pose is easier for beginners and those with sensitive backs. You can easily control how far you twist your upper body, that’s why it works for most students. If your student has wide shoulders, it is useful to put a wide blanket upper his head and make sure that his head doesn’t roll off the blanket during the twist. If the student has shoulder troubles, she can rest the top hand on the hip and just turn the torso.
Jathara Parivrtti: Arm sweep is very useful for relieving neck tension and stretching the shoulder. If the shoulder is too tight and/or painful, it helps to limit the range of motion of the arm, moving it only as high up as it’s comfortable. Or you can keep your upper back fully on the ground to support the shoulder and just lean the knees to the right side slightly, instead of doing the full twist.
Jathara Parivrtti: “Windshield wipers” is a much gentler version of the twist because the feet are supported by the floor. It helps to stretch your lower back, hip flexors and abductors. Be sure not to exaggerate the curve of the lower back when you twist.
“Stuck windshield wipers”
Jathara Parivrtti: “Stuck windshield wipers” emphasizes the abductors of the top leg. You strengthen them by lifting the leg and stretch them when you hang the leg down. Your hip flexors might get a nice stretch also.
Jathara Parivrtti: Clamshell works great to strengthen hip abductors and rotators. The trick here is to keep your hips stacked on top of each other as you move the knee up and down. It is also useful to do the movement very slowly so that you could feel the muscular activation, especially at the end point of the movement.
Jathara Parivrtti: Eagle legs actively stretches the abductors, and you might feel it in the IT band and hip flexors, as well. It is best to approach this deep stretch by first contracting the same areas to increase blood flow. You do it by moving the leg up and down a few times while keeping your foot and knee leveled with the ground.
Leg press up
Jathara Parivrtti: Leg press-up is excellent for strengthening the abductors. It seems like such a small movement, but you will feel its effect in your hip! Just be sure to keep your hips stacked on top of each other.
Jathara Parivrtti: Extended leg is great for strengthening the abductors and stretching the hamstrings. Try to keep you thigh stationary when you extend your leg and stretch out through the heel. It is best not to rotate the leg too much and keep it parallel to the ground.
Jathara Parivrtti: Leg raises strongly works the abductors, but also engages the hip flexors and hamstrings. Try to keep your pelvis steady both when you move your leg up and down, and when you hold it. It is particularly important when you hold the leg in position, otherwise there will be all sorts of muscular compensation from other body parts.
Jathara Parivrtti: Leg rotations is one of the strongest and most effective poses for strengthening hip rotators. However, if the rotators are weak, the body will tend to compensate in other places, which can be problematic for the lower back and sacrum. If you see your students struggle with this one, have them lie on the side instead of twisting, and rotate the top leg in front of them.
Jathara Parivrtti: Foot hold is great for stretching the hamstrings and abductors. It is a great move to do after other hip strengthening versions of Jathara Parivrtti. If the student cannot reach the foot, the outside of the knee can work just fine, and the leg doesn’t have to be straight all the way. The twisting action is still the most important part of the pose.
Straight legs twist
Jathara Parivrtti: Straight legs twist is the hardest of all Jathara Parivrtti adaptations. While it works great for strengthening your core and abductors, the risk to your lower back, sacrum, shoulders and neck is greater also. You can start with the knees sightly bent and see if your core will support that action. It is important to lift the legs up without jerking them and without tensing your shoulders or neck.