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parivrtta paschimottanasana

Revolved Seated Forward Fold
by Jennifer Arnold

parivrtta: revolved, reverse
paschima: back
uttana: stretched out
asana: pose, posture

instructions:
1. Sit on the ground with your legs stretched straight out in front of you. Bring your hands to the ground beside your hips.

2. As you inhale, lengthen your spine up towards the ceiling, reach through your heels and let your inner thighs sink. With an exhalation, bend forward from your hip joints and take hold of your feet.

3. With your next inhalation lengthen your spine a little longer as you draw your breastbone away from your navel. Feel your back become slightly concave.

4. Bring your left hand to the outer right foot, with your four fingers on the sole of the foot and your thumb on the top of the foot. Place your right hand on your sacrum (the back of your pelvis) and draw your right shoulder back.

5. Keep the sides of your waist long and your spine extending forward. As you exhale, rotate your torso to the right.

6. Hold for 3 – 5 breaths. Inhale to unwind and rise back up to center. Repeat on the other side.

tips:
1. The twist comes from the abdominal and back muscles, however by using the strength of the legs and the arms together you can deepen both the fold and the rotation. Remember to keep your legs strong and press away with the leg that you are holding. Pull gently with the hand that is holding the foot and let your elbow bend. As it comes down toward the ground, you can then press your elbow into your leg while simultaneously creating more length in the spine and deepening the rotation of your belly.

2. If you are having difficulty catching your feet with your hands, use a strap to bridge the distance between your hands and feet. Instead of then catching your foot with the opposite hand, simply hold both ends of the strap with one hand while bringing the other to your sacrum. Work toward finding length in the spine while taking a gentle twist away from the arm holding the strap.

benefits:
While forward folds are generally quieting postures, by adding the twist to this fold the pose becomes quite invigorating. It stimulates the abdominal organs, tones the kidneys, rejuvenates the spine, and helps improve digestion and circulation.

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