Weekly Pose Tutorial: Bharadvajasana

Bharadvajasana is a powerful twisting pose that brings you into your centerline. It’s named after Bharadvaja, an ancient Vedic sage. The rough translation of his name is “a source of nourishment.”

This posture symbolizes a turning inward of the mind and an integration of the deep, powerful work of your practice. This pose brings you to the center of yourself, both physically and spiritually, while bringing energy, life, and circulation into the body.

The first thing to understand when moving into this twist is its placement in the Second Series. Before we do this twist in the series, we just finished doing a bunch of deep backbends. So Bharadvajasana re-integrates the spine and provides nourishment after doing all of these backbends.

To come into the pose, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.

Internally rotate your left leg and bend your left knee, so your left heel is outside of your left hip bone. Your knees are slightly apart.

Bring your right knee into external rotation. The sole of your right foot is toward your left thigh. If lotus position is inaccessible for you, this is your modification.

If you can do lotus position, you want to close your right knee joint completely. Inhale and pull your right foot up into your left hip crease. The instep of your foot should be facing down, gliding into your left hip crease.

Resist the desire to have your body weight lean to one side by pulling in your low belly and keeping your core strong.

Reach your right hand around your back and hold onto your right foot. If you’re modifying, you can reach your right hand around your back and try to grab your left thigh or your shirt.

Lean forward slightly, pressing into your right hand to keep your left hip on the ground. If your hip pops up off the ground, that is not good for the foundation of the pose.

Inhale and lift the ribs. Exhale and extend your left arm across the centerline of your body to the outside of your right thigh. Place your left hand on the ground beneath your right knee. Inhale expand the spine and exhaled twist along the center axis.

Your right shoulder is folding forward and down. Your left shoulder is pulling back and away. Your belly is sucked in and you’re grounding your hips back.

Calm your mind and feel your centerline. Relax your neck and gently gaze over your right shoulder. Press the heel of your left hand into the ground and grip with your left fingers.

Push the right foot down with your right hand to keep the left hip pushed into the ground. Activate your pelvic floor.

To come out of the pose, soften and release slowly as you exhale.

Now repeat the pose on the opposite side.

Watch this video by Kino to get a better understanding of Bharadvajasana.

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