Chair Twist – Bharadvajasana on the Chair

This is a safe and simple twist that can be performed whilst sitting on a chair.  It stimulates and massages the abdominal organs, improving the digestion and providing a gentle stretch that releases tension from the neck and spine.  It can relieve arthritis in the lower back, and alleviates rheumatism of the knees.  Before you begin, a reminder to work within your capabilities.  Never force a posture and remember to breathe.  It’s ok to feel discomfort in muscles as you stretch, but discontinue if you experience pain in a joint.

*Avoid if suffering from a spinal injury, diarrhea, migraine or insomnia.

Sitting on a flat based chair sideways, with the back of the chair on your left.
Make sure your tail is to the back edge of the chair and that your feet are firmly planted on the floor 15cm apart.  Place them on a phone book or blocks if need be.
Place your hands on top of either side of the chair back with your elbows extending away from the body.
Bring your spine back slightly so that is directly above your hips.
Inhale and lift from the crown of the head; drawing you abdomen in so that you create height and length to the spine.

Chair Twist (a)

Then as you exhale gently twist to the left, using your left hand to push away and your right hand to draw yourself towards the chair.
Broaden into the collarbones and let the shoulders release away from the ears.
Concentrate the twist into the spine rather than the neck.
Keep lengthening on the inhalation and turning on the exhalation breath.
Hold for 3-5 breaths and release to the front.
Then turning around and repeating for the other side.
(Try to keep the knees in line so one doesn’t move forward as you twist. Using a block or a thick paperback between the knees can help with this.)

Chair Twist (b) To finish, sit on the front edge of the chair with your legs and feet wide apart.
Have your arms by your sides with the palms facing outward.
Inhale raising your arms and then turning the palms to the front exhale and stretch forward and release your body taking your hands towards the floor.
Let go so that the crown of your head releases towards the floor.

Chair Twist (c) Continue to breathe and let go for 3-5 breaths, then inhale to come up.
*If it is difficult or uncomfortable to release towards the floor stretch forward and place your hands on another chair or table.