Revolved Side Angle Pose

Parivrtta Parsvakonasana refers to a variation of the standing side-stretch yoga asanas that require balance and flexibility with the legs in virabhadrasana lunge position. The name comes from the Sanskrit Parivrtta, meaning “to turn around” or “revolve,” parsva, meaning "side or flank," kona, meaning "angle," and asana, meaning "posture". The common English name for Parivrtta Parsvakonasana is revolved side angle pose. This pose also Known As: Twisting Side Angle, Rotated Side Angle, Side Angle Twist. In a classic Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana), if the right foot is forward, the right hand is also forward. In Revolved Side Angle, when the right foot is forward, it’s the left hand that goes with it. This changes the direction of your twist, which is where the revolved part comes in.

Traditionally, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana is believed to activate the manipura chakra. This chakra is the body’s energy and vitality center, transporting confidence, internal strength and courage. By activating this chakra, Parivrtta Parsvakonasana is thought to dispel fear and insecurity. Parivrtta Parsvakonasana is part of the primary series of Ashtanga Yoga and a key pose in other styles of yoga.

Benefits of Revolved Side Angle Pose

The Revolved Side Angle Pose strengthens and stretches legs, groin, hamstrings. It opens the chest and shoulders. Revolved poses are traditionally believed to help stimulate and cleanse the organs and promote good circulation and range of motion. Many people find that these poses help relieve stress and they may help reduce back pain. Play with the pose and enjoy the strong feeling of balance and accomplishment it can give you!

You should avoid this pose if you have an injury to the neck, back, or shoulders. As it requires balance, it is not recommended if you have high or low pressure or you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist to see if it is appropriate if you have an injury to your hips, back, shoulder, or knee. Avoid this pose when you have diarrhea.

How to Do Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

  1. From Downward Facing Dog, bring your left foot forward to the inside your left hand. Your toes should be in line with your fingers.
  2. Bend your left knee so that your calf and thigh make a right angle with your thigh parallel to the floor.
  3. Pivot on the ball of your right foot to drop your right heel down to the floor.
  4. Flatten the right hand to the floor under your right shoulder.
  5. Draw your belly button toward your spine as you twist your torso toward your left knee, opening the chest and stacking the right shoulder on top of the left.
  6. Lift your left arm up toward the ceiling. Bring your gaze up to the left hand.
  7. Stay in the twist for three to five breaths. Step back to downward dog and then do the pose with the right foot forward.

Practicing once with each side for a few seconds is enough for beginners. As you begin to gain more strength and flexibility, extend duration and repetitions.

Revolved Side Angle Pose for Beginners

Beginners often have difficulty maintaining their balance in this pose, especially with the back heel lifted off the floor. To improve your balance, support your heel, either by standing it on a sandbag or thick book, or by bracing it against a wall. Most of the standing poses are appropriate preparations for this challenging standing twist, especially Parivrtta Trikonasana. You might also try wide-open groin poses like Baddha Konasana and Upavistha Konasana; thigh stretchers like Virasana and its reclining variation; and hip openers like Gomukhasana.

Revolved Side Angle Pose for Advanced

This pose can be done in different ways to match your level of practice. There are a number of different ways to place your arms in this pose. The bottom hand can go inside or outside the front foot; the top arm, straight up or over your ear. Advanced students will want to keep the back heel as much as possible on the floor. Be sure to rotate the back foot in more than you do for most other standing poses, about 45 to 60 degrees. Take a little support under the back heel if needed at first.