Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Bound Revolved High Side Angle Pose or Parivrtta Parsvakonasana*

At TriYoga, London

I have noticed over the years that some asanas (yoga poses) for me take time to master, perhaps even a few years, but once I have mastered them, the asanas become so comfortable that I could drink a cafe latte in the morning and a glass of champagne in the evening while balancing on my head or binding, twisting and balancing all at the same time as on the photo above. Indeed, the Bound Revolved High Side Angle Pose has with practice become so easy that it is now my all-time favourite yoga pose.

Benefits of the Bound Revolved High Side Angle Pose
It is a complex pose with several major benefits:
* it strengthens the feet, ankles and legs;
* it stretches the Psoas and Iliacus muscles, which are in a tricky place to stretch and for this reason are often neglected;
* twists cleanse and reduce stress in the abdominal area, which leads to a better digestion and a healthier body;
* twisting and revolving opens the chest area, which leads to a better posture, and also opens the heart chakra, which leads to living a more meaningful life;
* balancing is both mentally and physically very important and practising balancing poses helps maintain a harmonious relationship between the two worlds.

A few points to consider
* If you are a beginner and have been practising yoga regularly less than a year, don't attack this pose quite yet. Instead, practise Triangle diligently and only when you comfortably reach the ground every time you do the pose, add a simple Revolved Side Angle to your practice. The body needs time to become used to the strange yogic twists and turns, so don't rush. I practised the simplest yoga poses for about three years before I moved on to the more complex poses and their variations.
* If you cannot bind, there are two other arm options available:
option 1: stretch your arms like wings, one touching the ground and the other pointing vertically towards the ceiling;
option 2: position hands in a prayer in front of your chest with the opposite elbow touching the knee.
* Make sure you don't claw the front foot toes. Spread them out and suck them onto the ground instead.
* Energise the feet and legs to hold a good balance. If the foundation is wobbly, you will fall over.
* Make sure your balance is in the middle, not tilted towards your front or back foot.
* Turn your head toward to ceiling only if the neck allows it, otherwise look straight ahead or down to the floor. The neck is a delicate area and often over stretched. Over stretching lead to nasty headaches and muscle strains that can last for days. I have learnt the hard way to listen to the neck before turning it sideways.
* Once in the pose, hands bound, in a prayer or stretched out like wings, take very deep breaths down to your stomach. It is a tricky pose to breathe in, but make sure you do your very best to breathe. When you are stable, deepen the twist with every out-breath.
* I practise Vinyasa Flow yoga style, which is an uninterrupted flow of poses without any pauses between them. I normally do a long flow of Warriors and other standing poses and go into the Bound Revolved High Side Angle Pose without touching the ground at all. For example, a simple version of Vinyasa Flow is from Warrior II to Bound Revolved High Side Angle with an appropriate breathing and without touching the ground at all. First, I establish a high lunge, then twist, revolve and bind. When I come out of the pose and go into the next one, I do it again with an appropriate breathing and without touching the ground. I often like the next pose after Bound Revolved High Side Angle to be Half Moon, Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend with Reverse Prayer Hands or Warrior III.

 * Over the years I have tried to find out what the appropriate name in Sanskrit for the full Bound Revolved High Side Angle Pose is, but there doesn't seem to be one. I thus call this pose by its simple name Parivrtta Parsvakonasana, which means the Side Angle Pose. If any one of you could add the words "bound" and "high" and make it fluent in Sanskrit, please leave a comment.


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Profe said...

great post!

badda = bound

you don't really need 'high', it's implied, but if you want it, it's "uddhata"

so, baddhoddhata pravritta parsvakonasana (a mouthful!)

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