VISHVAMTRASANA

Visvamitra was an ambitious king who transformed himself into a yogic sage. He symbolises the devotion, love and commitment that one experiences when learning and practising yoga. Visvamitrasana is a complex asana: It’s an arm balance, hip opener, shoulder opener, hamstring stretch and twist, all in one. It’s important to warm up your body in preparation for this asana by performing a sequence that includes the following: Parsvakonasana (Side Angle Pose), Virabhadrasana II (Warrior Pose II), Malasana (Garland Pose), Vasistasana (Side plank) and Bhujapidasana (ShoulderPressing Pose) and last but not least in Parivritta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head to Knee pose).

HOW TO PERFORM

• From side angle, hook the right shoulder underneath the right knee, bring the right arm behind the calf and place the palm down flat outside of the right foot. Lift up onto the ball of your right foot, and wrap your left hand around the arch of the foot.

• Lean onto your right hand, stacking your shoulder above your wrist and straightening your left arm until the front foot lifts off the ground.

• Now extend your right leg as you open the chest open to the sky and breathe.

CUES

• Squeeze the inner thigh towards the upper arm.
• Bend your top elbow toward the ceiling and roll your chest open.

WHEN TO AVOID

If suffering any form of wrist or hamstring injury.

MODIFICATIONS

• For beginners: Enter the pose from lizard and bring the back knee down to the floor and the back foot in towards the right arm.
• For more advanced students: Hold the pose for 5 breaths without holding the foot.