Monday, May 09, 2005

Turn Your Poses Around...Your Spine

When I wrote yesterday about wringing out and stimulating your internal organs, I suggested you go back and read my April message about janu sirsasana.

So, I took my own advice and did the same.

I noticed a little mistake in that message. I said I know of only one pose with the word root janu in its name.

Hasty assertion. Now, I can think of two: janusirsasana and parivrtta janusirsasana.

As I said yesterday, janusirsasana is both a forward bend and a twist. The problem is, it doesn't look like a twist. But you'll feel it as a twist when you do it. Go ahead. [Waiting patiently.] This is all about experiencing yoga, you know.

But parivrtta janusirsasana looks to everyone like a twist. And like the poses I suggested yesterday, it's great for your mid-section.

parivrtta janusirsasana. See this pic and others like it at Posted by Hello

I like this pose a lot. You should give it a try. But if you've never done it before, I recommend you begin by practicing parivrtta upavistha konasana first. You can see a picture of me doing the pose at

Parivrtta means 'revolving.' It almost always implies that you've taken the standard form of a pose and revolved the torso around the axis of the spine. The great yogacharya BKS Iyengar is known for this. He takes classical yoga poses and revolves them.

You can do it, too.

You can revolve triangle pose, side angle pose, and half moon pose, too. They all provide that great wringing action to the intra-abdominal organs, relieve low back aches, and strenghten the paraspinal and oblique abdominal muscles.

And I especially like the EXPERIENCE of revolving my whole torso around the axis of my spine. This helps reveal my spine to me more clearly. I feel it more vivdly. How about you? What do you feel?

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., I looked in my 100-page course guide for the Experience Sanskrit workshop today. Page 93 lists the names of six yoga poses with the word root parivrtta in them. At least one of those six is not discussed in this message. Send me an email today at and I'll send you the list, with links to pics so you'll know them all. Also, click here to find out more about our Experience Sanskrit workshop coming up June 25, 2005 at the Saint Louis YogaSource. When you participate in the Experience Sanskrit workshop you get to take home the course guide free. It's included in your $50 registration fee.

p.p.s., Janu means 'knee.' Sirsa, is 'head.' Janusirsasana, then, means 'knee head pose,' literally.

p.p.p.s., As I write this I am remembering CLEARLY the worst accident that ever occurred to one of my yoga students in a class I taught. She was doing revolved trianlge pose, parivrtta trikonasana. But it wasn't the pose that got her into trouble; it was the tools we were using to 'aid' her. Just how harmful can something as innocent as a sticky mat be? We use them every time we practice, right? Check back tomorrow. I've got more to say about this. Yoga, like many other things is a tool. It can be used for good or for, well, not-so-good.

revolved triangle pose, parivrtta trikonasana Posted by Hello

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