How To Do The Bharadvajasana And What Are Its Benefits

Written by , BA Shirin Mehdi BA Experience: 3 years

Sanskrit:  भरद्वाजासन; Bharadvaja – One Of The Seven Legendary Seers, Asana – Pose; Pronounced As: bah-ROD-va-JAHS-anna

Bharadvaj is one among the seven seers, and this asana is named after him. He is believed to have composed many hymns in the Vedas. The seated twist or the Bharadvaja’s Twist, as many call this asana, is a simple seated yoga asana that not only has multiple benefits, but can also be done by absolutely anyone.

Everything You Need To Know About The Bharadvajasana

  1. What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
  2. How To Do The Bharadvajasana
  3. Precautions And Contraindications
  4. Beginner’s Tips
  5. Advanced Pose Variations
  6. Benefits Of The Seated Twist
  7. The Science Behind The Bharadvajasana
  8. Preparatory Poses
  9. Follow-Up Poses

What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana

You must make sure to keep your stomach and bowels empty before you practice this asana. Have your meals at least four to six hours before you do the asana so that your food gets digested and there is enough energy for you to expend during the practice.

It is best to practice yoga first thing in the morning. But in the event you cannot work out in the morning, it is alright to practice it in the evening.

Level: Intermediate
Style: Hatha Yoga
Duration: 30 to 60 seconds
Repetition: Once on each side
Stretches: Vertebral column, Hips, Shoulders
Strengthens: Lower back

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How To Do The Bharadvajasana

  1. Sit on the floor, with your back erect and your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your arms beside your body, close to your hips.
  1. Bend your knees and bring them close to your left hip, such that the right buttocks carry the weight of the body. Rest the inner side of your left ankle on the arch of your right thigh.
  1. Inhale and stretch your spine, extending it as much as you possibly can. Exhale and twist the upper trunk as much as you can. Place your right hand on the floor, and your left hand on the right outer thigh.
  1. Make sure that your hip on the left side presses your body weight down on the floor.
  1. Slightly bend the upper part of the back and twist around your backbone, such that you feel the effect from the lower back to the tip of the head.
  1. Keep lengthening your spine as you intensify your twist every time you exhale.
  1. Turn your head such that you look over your right shoulder. Hold the pose for about a minute.
  1. Exhale and gently untwist your trunk to come back to the center. Take a breath, and repeat the pose with the weight of your body on the left buttock.

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Precautions And Contraindications

Avoid this asana if you have the following conditions:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Headache
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Insomnia
  5. Low blood pressure
  6. Menstruation

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Beginner’s Tip

As a beginner, it might be hard for you to perfect laying the weight of your entire body on the twisting side. You might end up tilting on that side, which will lead to compression of the lower back. To avoid this, raise your buttock using a blanket that is folded thickly. Then, consciously sink your buttocks towards the floor.

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Advanced Pose Variation

You can use your arms to intensify your stretch.

  1. Exhale and swing your right arm around, such that it comes behind your back when you twist to your right.
  1. Then, try and embrace your left elbow with your right hand. Use a strap if you cannot get this right initially.
  1. Turn your left arm outwards so that the palm faces away from the knees. Slip the hand under the right knee, with your palms on the floor.

Repeat this hand movement with the opposite hands when you twist to your left.

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Benefits Of The Bharadvajasana

These are some amazing benefits of the seated twist yoga pose.

  1. It gives the hips, spine, and shoulders a good stretch.
  1. It massages the abdominal organs.
  1. Digestion is improved, and so is metabolism.
  1. This asana relieves neck pain, sciatica, and lower back pain.
  1. It also reduces stress and anxiety.
  1. This asana is good for a woman in the second trimester of pregnancy to strengthen the lower back. But it must be done only after consulting a doctor, and under the supervision of an expert.
  1. This asana helps relieve carpal tunnel syndrome.

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The Science Behind The Bharadvajasana

This gentle twist rejuvenates the spine and the muscles in the body while soothing the nervous system. If practiced regularly, it has a calming effect on the body. This twist, like all twists, releases the contraction in the connective tissues and the musculature as it also improves the physical processes. The functioning of the spleen, liver, kidneys, digestive system, and the excretory system is improved. With this asana, the equalizing force is built in the abdomen. It is also called the Samana, and is one of the 10 pranas in the body. It is supposed to engender physical and mental stillness and assimilative capacity. It is the samana that determines your ability to rest deeply and process everything you take in.

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Preparatory Poses

Baddha Konasana
Supta Padangusthasana
Utthita Trikonasana
Virabhadrasana II

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Follow-Up Poses

Baddha Konasana
Supta Padangusthasana
Utthita Trikonasana
Virabhadrasana II
Janu Sirsasana

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Let this asana do its job of helping you completely unwind as you sit back and twist!

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Shirin Mehdi

Shirin MehdiHealth & Wellness Writer


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