My Desert Island Exercise: Core Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana) – Core Twist (Jathara Parivartanasana) is one of the most popular yoga poses in India. Jatha-pari-vatanasana or core twist is a variation of vatka-parivrtta, which means “back bend” in Sanskrit. Vatkalpa-pranayama literally means “bend forward.” It is often used in combination with other postures such as prasarita padottanasana, supta-padangusthasana, and even as a stand alone exercise.
The term “core” refers to the muscles of your back and abdomen. The word “twist” refers to a twisting movement. This pose is not only useful for strengthening these muscles but it also helps prevent injuries. You may have heard that core twists are good for reducing stress on the spine, however, there isn’t much scientific evidence supporting this claim. However, many practitioners swear by them because they feel it strengthens their backs and improves posture.
This pose is also very effective for strengthening abdominal muscles, which are important for good posture.
In addition, twisting poses can help release muscular tension in the spine and back. Practicing this move on a regular basis can strengthen your spine and back muscles, helping to prevent back pain and other issues that are common among everyday people. It also stretches the neck and shoulder muscles, which can help reduce stress and make you feel more relaxed.
This asana is fairly easy to learn, even for absolute beginners. It’s important to note that you should always talk to your doctor before trying this or any other exercise program.
The first step to performing this exercise is to sit in a comfortable cross-legged position on the floor. You should be sitting up straight and tall, with your shoulders relaxed and your head held high. Next, interlock your fingers behind your back and press your hands together. You may find it helpful to place a yoga block or book behind your upper back for extra support.
Slowly lean your torso forward, towards the floor. It’s important to keep your head aligned with your spine as you do this. You should feel a stretch in the back of your shoulders, upper back, and neck. You can take it slow at first until you learn to relax the muscles in this area. Keep leaning forward until you feel a mild to moderate stretch.
Take at least five deep breaths here.
Once you’re ready to come out of the pose, place your hands on either side of your legs and gently push your body upwards. Draw your shoulder blades together as you transition into a seated position. This completes one repetition.
It may take a few times for you to feel comfortable in the pose. If it feels too difficult at any point, there are a few things you can do. For example, you can remove the block or book behind your back for more support. You can also place a folded blanket or towel behind your upper back for cushioning and support.
If you’re having trouble with tight hamstrings, try sitting on a folded blanket or towel to raise your hips slightly. This small change may make the pose more comfortable and easier to perform. Be sure to keep your head aligned with your spine as you transition from seated to standing.
Sources & references used in this article:
The Penguin Dictionary of Alternative Medicine by TV Sairam – 2008 – books.google.com