Vakrasana comes from a combination of two words, Vakra which means twisted and asana which means yoga posture. Vakrasana is among flexible yoga twist poses where twisting is observed in the spinal region and one may also call it a twisted pose or seated twist yoga pose. Although Vakrasana is a simple yoga for beginners it provides adequate stretch and twist to the spinal cord and lower abdomen region. The spinal twist yoga is practised in sitting posting and the trunk is twisted to either side. The twisted pose is beneficial for various body organs including liver, kidney, pancreas, ovary, testis, stomach and intestine. Vakrasana or the seated twist increases flexibility and burns the belly fat. Regular practice of Vakrasana benefits in case of diabetes.

How to do Vakrasana step by step?

  1. Start in a sitting position with legs stretched out and hands resting on the ground by the side.
  2. Slightly bend your left leg while keeping the sole of your feet resting on the ground. Keep your right leg straight on the ground.
  3. Twist your torso towards the left and bring in your right hand over the left leg.
  4. The right hand should be placed over the left toe or you can hold the left ankle with your right hand. Position the left hand behind to support the body. The neck is in a twisted position, in line with the torso.
  5. Keep a normal breath in this position and maintain the pose for at least 30 seconds.
  6. Now, release the pose by slowing releasing the hands. Twist towards your right and assume the normal forwards looking position. Bring the hands to the side of the body, resting on the ground. Lower the left leg and let it rest on the ground.
  7. Repeat the same steps on the right side as well. Do as many rounds of Vakrasanaas comfortable.
  8. Rest in Shavasana after you practice the yoga twist poses.

How to breathe during Vakrasana

While you are practising the Vakrasana or the spinal twist yoga, the correct method of breathing should be followed. Exhale slowly while you twist the body. Do not rush into breathing and try to breathe slowly and peacefully. Try to maintain the position in the last step and inhale while returning to the starting position.

  • The spine should be erect, and muscles should be active.
  • Press the elbow into the knee.
  • Root your big toe.

Anatomy of Vakrasana

The seated yoga twist pose promotes twisting and compression in muscle, benefiting various organs, such as:

  • Spine
  • Arms
  • Shoulders
  • Abdomen
  • Back

Preparatory asanas before practising Vakrasana:

Here are some preparatory asanas one should try before the practice of the seated twist yoga:

  • Ustrasana
  • Vajrasana
  • Tadasana
  • Stickasana
  • Bhadrasana
  • Dandasana
  • Shavasana
  • Shasakasana
  • Counter pose

Vakrasana Benefits:

All the yoga twist poses like Vakrasana have enormous benefits if they are practised correctly and regularly. Some wonderful benefits of Vakrasana are:

  • Spine and back nerves: Vakrasana benefits the spinal nerves and back nerves. The practice of the twisted pose is known to provide excellent compression and extension of the spine and back nerves improving the condition of the back, spine, and muscle nerves.
  • Lung Purification: The twists and compression from the yoga pose help the body squeeze out the sluggish and stagnated blood from the spinal region and circulate it to the lungs and heart for purification. This results in increased lung capacity and purification.
  • Back Pain: The regular practice of Vakrasana benefits in treating back pain, headache and neck pain.
  • Flexibility: Vakrasana is one of the best post-yoga poses that reduces the stiffness in the body and increases its flexibility. People with a stiff body should regularly practice Vakrasana.
  • Prevents old age issues: Vakrasana prevents the adjacent vertebrae from fusing together which is a common issue in elderly people.
  • Slip disc treats: The yoga practice is helpful in treating mild cases of slipped discs and sciatica.
  • Diabetes: Vakrasana is beneficial in cases of Diabetes. The yoga pose provides excellent massage to the abdominal organs including the pancreas. Practising the pose stimulates the pancreas and signals the beta cells of the pancreas to secrete more insulin. Insulin secretion ensures blood sugar control and thus benefits in diabetes. The twisted pose is also useful in treating ailments like indigestion, constipation, and rheumatism.
  • Weight loss yoga: The yoga pose gives adequate twist and compression in the abdominal region and regular practice of the asana helps to reduce belly fat and love handles.
  • Blood Circulation: The compression and stretching in the abdominal organs facilitate recirculation of blood and toning of the associated nerves.
  • Stress and Strain relief: Extremely beneficial yoga pose for people experiencing stress or strain in the back due to the practice of forwarding bending asanas.
  • Improves digestion: Vakrasana improves the digestion process as the twists and compressions in the abdominal area promotes the release of digestive juices.
  • Cures headache: The spinal twist yoga pose helps in the circulation of blood to our brain and this helps in getting rid of a headache and refreshes the mind.
  • Benefits the urinary system: Practicing Vakrasana ensures proper flow of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the urinary region and thus promotes a healthy urinary system and prevents UTIs.

Precautions of Vakrasana

It is advised not to practice Vakrasana if you are suffering from the following conditions:

  • Peptic Ulcers
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Extreme back pain
  • Hernia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Women should not practice Vakrasana after the first trimester of the pregnancy.
  • Avoid the practice during sciatica or slipped disc conditions.
  • Do not try to practice Vakrasana if suffering from knee pain.
  • Do not try to practice Vakrasana if you have an underlying heart or brain condition.
  • Do not try to practice Vakrasana in cases of abdominal surgery.
  • Try the pose under supervision in case of a stiff spine.

The following aspects should be noted when practising Vakrasana:

  • When you are performing the seated twist asana, try to minimize the movement in the back area. This will help you execute the pose in a better way and achieve optimum results.
  • While practising Vakrasana yoga, do not put an extreme strain on the spinal region. Undue strain on the spine may result in injury.
  • Keep the shoulders at the same level during the yoga pose.
  • The back should be straight during the final posture.

Top facts related to Vakrasana one should know.

  • Vakrasana may seem extremely difficult in the beginning if you have a stiff body as the yoga pose requires flexibility for proper execution.
  • The back should be passive while practicing twisted yoga to achieve the maximum benefits of Vakrasana.
  • The back should be neutral and upright in the final posture.
  • Vakrasana is among the best yoga asana for spine health.
  • The yoga pose has amazing benefits for people suffering from diabetes, spondylosis, menstrual disorders, anorexia, constipation, and cervical pain.
  • Vakrasana is good for the reproductive system as it increases the blood flow, nutrients flow, and oxygen flows in the pelvic region.
  • In the hath yoga, the Vakrasana is placed at 9th position out of the 12-yoga posture.

Vakrasana is among one of the best adults and kids yoga benefiting different organs and curing various health problems. If you are thinking there aren't any yoga classes near me, the good news is Vakrasana can be easily performed at home. Just make sure to do it correctly, follow the steps and breathing method as instructed and take care of the precautions to reap the benefits from the spinal twist yoga.

Posted 
January 12, 2022
 in 
Yoga
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