Asana Spotlight Parivrtta Utkatasana - Prayer Twist

If you'd like to cultivate a little sauca in your internal organs, Prayer Twist (parivrtta utkatasana) is the pose for you. Prayer Twist squeezes the organs and muscles of the midsection, rinsing them like hands wringing out a wet sponge. This twisting action, which flushes and bathes the body's tissues with fresh blood, has a stimulating effect on the a spring clean for your insides!

To achieve Prayer Twist, squat down into Chair Pose (Utkatasana) and bring your hands into prayer position with the thumbs resting against the breastbone (anjali mudra). Inhale whilst lengthening the torso skyward and then exhale to turn your body to the right, using your core muscles to actively twist. Bring your left elbow to rest on the outside of your right knee or thigh. Turn your head to the right and continue to elongate your spine, creating as much space as you can between each vertebrae. Keep your knees level and pressed firmly together whilst you twist, deepening your posture on each exhale.  

For a more challenging Prayer Twist, open your arms like wings, bringing your left hand to the floor or a block and raising your right hand up. In this variation, your hands and shoulders should be stacked directly above one another, perpendicular to your spine and the floor. Hold Prayer Twist for 5 to 10 breaths and then switch sides, using Chair Pose or Ragdoll (Uttanasana) as a resting posture in between.