Bharadvaja was the father of Drona, the military preceptor of the Kauravas and Pandavas, who fought the great war described in the Mahabharata. This asana is dedicated to Bharadvaja.
1. Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. (Plate 35)
2. Flex the knees, move the legs back and bring both feet to the right side beside the hip.
3. Rest the buttocks on the floor, turn the trunk about 45 degrees to the left, straighten the right arm and place the right hand on the outer side of the left thigh near the left knee. Insert the right hand underneath the left knee, the palm touching the floor.
4. Exhale, turn the left arm from the shoulder behind the back, bend the left elbow and with the left hand clasp the right upper arm above the right elbow.
5. Turn the neck to the right and gaze over the right shoulder. (Plates 131 and 132)
6. Hold the position for half a minute with deep breathing.
7. Loosen the hand grip, straighten the legs and repeat the pose on the other side. Here, bring both the feet beside the left hip, turn the trunk to the right, straighten the left arm, place the left palm underneath the right knee and catch the left upper arm near the elbow with the right hand from behind the back. Stay there for an equal length of time.
This simple âsana works on the dorsal and lumbar regions of the spine. People with very stiff backs find the other lateral twisting positions extremely difficult. This pose helps to make the back supple. People with arthritis will find it very beneficial.
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