How To Do Seated Twist Pose (Bharadvajasana)

Seated Twist Pose (Bharadvajasana) is for you, when feeling stiff and tight in your torso. Do you long for a way to release the tension and feel more free in your body? Look no further!

This powerful posture not only helps to increase flexibility in the spine and hips, but also supports healthy digestion and detoxification.

As a yoga practitioner, I have found Seated Twist Pose to be one of the most transformative postures for both my physical and mental well-being. By twisting from the base of my spine all the way up through my neck, I am able to release any stagnant energy that may be lingering in my body.

So come join me on this journey towards greater freedom in our bodies and minds through this pose!


Step-by-step Instructions

Here are the steps to perform the asana:

  • Begin by sitting on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend your knees and bring your feet to the mat, keeping them hip-width apart.
  • Shift your weight slightly to the right and slide your left buttock to the side, creating space to twist.
  • Bring your right foot to the outside of your left thigh, placing it flat on the mat.
  • Inhale and lengthen your spine, sitting up tall. On an exhale, turn your torso to the right, rotating from your waist.
  • Place your left hand on your right knee or thigh for support.
  • Bring your right hand behind you, placing it on the mat near your tailbone, fingertips pointing away from your body.
  • Continue to lengthen your spine on each inhale, and with each exhale, deepen the turn, gently looking over your right shoulder.
  • Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed throughout the posture.
  • If it feels comfortable, you can deepen more by hooking your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, gently pressing to increase the rotation.
  •  Maintain it for 30-60 seconds, breathing deeply and feeling the twist from your waist up through your spine.
  • To release the pose, slowly unwind and coming back to face forward.
  • Extend your legs out in front of you and repeat the pose on the other side, bringing your left foot to the outside of your right thigh and turning to the left.


  • Focus on lengthening your spine and maintaining an upright posture throughout the exercise.
  • Avoid rounding your back or collapsing into. Keep your chest lifted and shoulders relaxed.
  • If you have tight hips or limited mobility, you can sit on a folded blanket or cushion to elevate your hips and make the twist more accessible.
  • Modify the pose by using a strap or towel to reach your hand behind you if you have limited shoulder flexibility.
  • Listen to your body and avoid any pain or discomfort. Gentle and gradual moves are effective and safe.
  • Regular practice can help improve spinal mobility, digestion, and release tension in the back and hips.
  • Seek guidance from a qualified yoga instructor if you have any specific concerns or limitations.

Yoga Bharadvajasana Pose / Canva

7 Benefits

The posture, is a seated yoga posture that offers numerous benefits for the body, mind, and overall well-being. Here is a list of the benefits of practicing:

  1. Spinal Mobility: This pose involves a gentle spinal twist, which helps to improve the flexibility and mobility of the entire spine. It stretches and lengthens the spinal muscles, relieving stiffness and promoting better posture.
  2. Digestive Health: The action stimulates the abdominal organs, including the digestive system. This can help improve digestion, relieve constipation, and reduce bloating and gas.
  3. Detoxification: The motion in this pose stimulates the organs involved in detoxification, such as the liver and kidneys. It aids in the elimination of toxins from the body, promoting overall detoxification and purification.
  4. Mental Clarity: Seated Pose is known to have a positive impact on mental clarity and focus. The combination of physical movement, deep breathing, and the release of tension helps calm the mind, improving concentration and mental awareness.
  5. Balancing Energy: This pose helps in balancing the flow of energy in the body, specifically in the subtle energy channels known as nadis. It promotes a harmonious balance of energy throughout the body, supporting overall well-being.
  6. Stretching the Hips and Shoulders: The asana stretches and opens up the hips and shoulders, releasing tension and tightness in these areas. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals who sit for long periods, as it counteracts the effects of prolonged sitting.
  7. Energizing and Invigorating: These poses are known to activate and stimulate the energy centers of the body, including the spine and the nervous system. This can help increase overall energy levels and invigorate the body and mind.

It’s important to note that if you have any specific health concerns or conditions. It’s advisable to consult with a qualified yoga instructor or healthcare professional before attempting any other yoga practice.

Yoga Seated Twist Pose / Canva

Preparing for Seated Twist Pose

Before you begin the pose, find a comfortable position on your mat or chair. You may choose to sit cross-legged or with your legs extended in front of you. Make sure that your spine’s straight and your shoulders’re relaxed. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself and prepare for the movement.

It’s important to warm up your body before attempting the posture. You can do some preparatory poses such as cat-cow stretch, seated forward bend, or gentle bent while seated on a chair. These’ll help loosen up any stiffness in your spine and hips.

After completing the preparatory poses, you can move into the yoga pose by exhaling and turning toward one side of the chair. Place one hand on the back of the chair and the other hand on top of the opposite knee. Remember to keep both sit bones grounded as you bend your lower back.

To release from this pose, slowly unwind and repeat on the other side before moving onto counter poses. Like child’s pose or downward-facing dog.

Getting into the Starting Position

This pose is a powerful way to stretch and strengthen the spine. While releasing tension in the shoulders and hips.

To get into the starting position, begin by sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you. Next, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Bring your right foot over your left leg and tuck it in beside your left hip.

Your right knee should be pointing straight up toward the ceiling. If this position is uncomfortable, sit on a blanket or cushion for added support.

Now, place your right hand behind you on the floor or chair back if using one. Use your left arm to gently move your torso toward the right, placing it on top of your right thigh. Take a deep breath in as you lengthen through the spine and exhale as you deepen into the turn. Hold for several breaths before repeating on the other side.

Feel free to close your eyes and focus inward during this pose. Allow any tension or stress to release from your body. Breathe deeply and evenly throughout the entire stretch.

Precautions & Contraindications

As you explore the precautions and contraindications, it’s important to keep in mind that this powerful stretch can be challenging for some practitioners. While the pose is generally safe for most people, it’s important to listen to your body’s signals. Adjust accordingly, ensuring a safe and effective practice.

One precaution to keep in mind is avoiding the pose if you have an injury or inflammation in the spine or hips. Additionally, if you experience any pain or discomfort during the pose, it’s important to come out of it immediately.

Contraindications include pregnancy, recent abdominal surgery, or any other medical condition that may affect your ability to turn comfortably. Remember to lift the sternum and lengthen the spine while practicing, engaging your back muscles for support.

Pose illustrations can be helpful in understanding proper alignment and modifications for different bodies.

Yoga Seated Twist / Canva

Modifications and Variations

You can switch up your practice with modifications and variations to make the asana, even more enjoyable and effective. Here are some ideas to try out:

Use a blanket: If you have tight hips or knees, sitting on a folded blanket can help you find more comfort in the pose.

Try it in a chair: If sitting on the ground is too challenging, sit in a chair instead. You’ll still get the benefits of the stretch and bend while keeping your spine lengthened.

Lotus pose variation: For an extra challenge, try doing the pose with one leg in lotus position. This will deepen the stretch in your hips and add an element of balance.

Remember to always listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. With these modifications and variations, you can make the posture work for you and enjoy all of its benefits for spine lengthening and detoxification.

Common Mistakes

It’s easy to slip into bad habits when practicing the seated posture. To avoid common mistakes and get the most out of this stretch, remember to gently turn your back, and not just your neck. Additionally, be sure to wrap your right arm around behind you and place it on the floor or hold onto your left thigh.

Another common mistake is forgetting to use a thickly folded blanket under your hips if they’re not level with each other. This will prevent strain on your lower back and allow for a more comfortable and effective stretch. Keep your knees together in virasana position beforegoing deeper into the pose while keeping your spine long.

With these tips in mind, you can safely and effectively practice for a deeper sense of freedom in both body and mind.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of practicing Seated Twist Pose on a consistent basis?

Practicing this pose on a consistent basis can offer numerous benefits for both the mind and body. It can help to increase flexibility in the spine, hips, and shoulders, while also improving digestion and circulation.

Additionally, this pose can help to release tension in the back muscles and ease lower back pain. From a mental standpoint, practicing can bring about a sense of calmness and relaxation while also helping to improve focus and concentration.

Overall, incorporating this pose into your regular yoga practice can promote overall well-being and leave you feeling more balanced both physically and mentally.

Can Seated-Twist Pose help alleviate lower back pain?

Oh, lower back pain. It’s like a pesky fly that just won’t go away. But fear not! This asana may just be the answer to your prayers.

By turning and stretching the spine, this pose can help alleviate tension in the lower back and provide relief from discomfort. I can attest to the effectiveness of this pose when practiced consistently, as someone who has experienced their fair share of lower back pain.

As with any exercise, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new yoga practice or modifying an existing one.

Is it safe to practice Seated-Twist Pose during pregnancy?

As with any exercise during pregnancy, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting a new yoga practice or modifying an existing one.

It’s important to modify the pose as your belly grows and avoid deep twists or compression of the abdomen. Always listen to your body and if you experience any discomfort or pain, come out of the pose and rest.

Practicing gentle can help alleviate tension in the back and hips, improve digestion, and create space for baby.

How long should one hold Seated Twist Pose for optimal benefits?

To truly reap the benefits of the asana, it’s recommended to hold the pose for at least 30 seconds on each side. This allows enough time for your muscles to fully stretch and release any tension.

However, if you have tight hips or a stiff spine, you may need to hold the pose longer in order to feel the full effects.

As with any yoga practice, it’s important to listen to your body and honor its limits – never push yourself beyond what feels comfortable.

What is the significance of the Sanskrit name for Seated Twist Pose (Bharadvajasana)?

The Sanskrit name honors one of the great sages in Hindu mythology, Bharadvaja.

According to legends, he was a wise and virtuous sage who spent his life in service to humanity.

This pose is said to awaken our inner wisdom and intuition, just as Bharadvaja’s teachings did for his followers.

Practicing this pose regularly can help us cultivate a sense of calmness and clarity within ourselves, allowing us to tap into our own inner guidance system.

It’s a powerful reminder that we all have access to this wisdom within us, waiting patiently for us to turn inward and listen closely.

Yoga Seated Twist Pose / Canva


The Seated-Twist Pose, also known as Bharadvajasana, is a popular yoga pose that involves a gentle spinal move while seated.

It is often taught in yoga teacher training programs as a foundational yoga posture. This pose primarily targets the spine and helps increase flexibility and mobility in the back muscles.

Remember to breathe deeply and hold the pose for several breaths. With each exhale, gently go a little deeper, being mindful of your body’s limitations. To release the pose, slowly unwind and come back to the center, then repeat the sequence on the opposite side.

The Seated Pose, offers various modifications and variations depending on your flexibility and comfort level. It is important to approach the pose with patience and respect for your body’s boundaries.

As with any yoga practice, listen to your body and adjust the pose as needed.

Preparatory poses for Bharadvajasana may include sitting sideways on a chair and turning your torso to one side while placing your feet on the floor.

Counter poses may involve sitting with your legs to the left and reaching your right hand to the floor behind you, or lying on your back and hugging your knees into your chest.

It is recommended to refer to pose illustrations or receive guidance from a qualified yoga teacher to ensure proper alignment and technique in Bharadvajasana or any yoga practice.