Vakrasana Type 1

Asana name: Twisted Pose Type 1

Sanskrit name: Vakrasan Type 1

Meaning: Twisted Pose Type 1

General Benefits:
The vertebral muscles of the back and abdomen are twisted laterally; especially the upper back and shoulder region. Improves the function of the spine as the blood flow to the spine, particularly the cervical and thoracic spine, is increased. Tones the spinal nerves, increases elasticity, reduces stiffness and relieves backache. Helps reduce fat in the abdominal region. Internal organs are twisted and so it helps in draining the blood which is accumulated in the organs and the blood vessels of abdomen. Helps to drain the secretions which are remaining in the ducts of the abdominal organs. In day to day life we do not regularly twist the spine. So it is a necessary asana to practice to keep the spine healthy.

Benefits for Women:
Beneficial in Menstrual disorders

Therapeutic Applications:
Diabetes. Constipation. Anorexia. Cervical Spondylitis. Urinary tract disorders. Menstrual disorders. Indigestion.

Taking the Position:
In sitting position bend the left leg and place the left heel near the buttock, keeping the sole of the left foot firmly on the ground. Place the left hand and right hand on the ground near the right thigh with the fingers of both hands facing each other. Inhale and while exhaling twist the trunk of the body and the neck to the right, keeping the spine erect, looking back over the shoulder. Maintain the asana, breathe normally.

Releasing the Positions:
Inhale and while exhaling turn the neck to the front. Return the left hand to the left side of the body. Straighten the left leg and return to sitting position. Now practice on the opposite side.

Anatomical Focus:
Abdomen, entire back, chest.

Anatomical Awareness:
Focus on entire spine.

Keep the right leg straight. Turn to the right side in the spine, turn the shoulders and head to the right. Try to keep both the buttocks firmly on the ground. Try to keep the left foot close to the body. Place both the palms on the ground close to the right thigh with finger tips facing each other. Only twist as far as you can keep your back and neck straight.

Lift either of the buttocks off the ground. Let the bent leg fall away. Let the back or neck bend. Overstrain the knees.

Precautions & Contraindications:
Serious spinal column complaints should avoid this asana. Avoid if having recent abdominal surgery, hernia or prolapse. Pregnancy or menstruation.

Variations & Tips:
If it is difficult to place the palm on the ground then one can place the fingertips or place the hand on the opposite shoulder, keeping the spine erect. One can also move the bent leg further away from the body, closer to the other foot. The aim of the asana is to get a good twist into the spine, not to place the palm on the ground.

Preparatory Poses:
Leg movement type 3 (check). Knee movement type 2 (check). Preparatory Movements Type 6 and 9.

Follow-up Poses:
Vakrasan Type 2. Ardha Matsyendrasana.