We have divided the Revolved Abdomen Pose practice into four primary parts: warm-up, posture steps, alignment cues, and relaxation postures. There are also modifications and variations for this pose that you can try.
Part 1 - Preparatory Poses for Jathara Parivartanasana
To prepare for the Revolved Abdomen Pose, you must warm up your legs, core, and low back. Here are a few poses to get you started:
1. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) - To slightly activate the obliques and spine, get into a seated position. Now, lift your left leg from the mat and step it over your right bent knee on the mat.
Place your left arm on your side – over the mat. At the same time, wrap your right arm over your left leg and feel a mild stretch in the side of your abdomen. Hold this pose for 2 minutes on each side to help you lengthen your spine.
2. Supine Windshield Wipers - Start by lying down on your back on the yoga mat. Bend your knees and place your foot flat on the mat. Make sure that your feet are slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
Now, start to open and close your legs and move them side-to-side. Perform this dynamic movement for 2 to 5 minutes for deeper hydration of the sacrum and activation of the lower back, pelvis, and legs.
Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions to Perform Jathara Parivartanasana
The following are steps to practice the belly twist or revolved abdomen pose:
Step 1- Lie on your yoga mat in the Corpse Pose and relax your spine.
Step 2- Draw your knees close to your chest and inhale-exhale here for a few seconds to activate your lower back’s deep connective tissues.
Step 3- On a deep inhale, tighten your core and spread both your arms in a 'T' shape at your sides. Also, make sure that your tailbone is flat against the mat.
Step 4- Now, exhale and twist your torso on the right side. You can keep your legs bent or straight. Hold the stretch when you feel a deep lengthening in your obliques and lower back.
Step 5- Come back to the center and relax your spine with a few deep inhales and exhales.
Step 6- Finally, bend on the left side, hold, and keep repeating this movement dynamically for a few minutes.
Inhale - When you bend your knees and engage your core muscles.
Exhale - When the placement of your legs is changed or your core is revolved.
Performance Duration for Beginners: Hold Jathara Parivartanasana for 5-10 seconds on each side.
Performance Duration for Advanced: Hold Jathara Parivartanasana for 10-30 seconds on each side.
Part 3: Things to Keep in Mind
Be aware of the following alignment cues if you are just starting your Jathara Parivartanasana practice.
Keep your core muscles tight: If your goal is to strengthen your obliques, keeping your entire core engaged is essential. This will not only help you tone and lose side belly fat, but it will also help you hold the pose for a longer duration.
Do not lift your arms up: Don’t let your shoulder blades move away from the ground. Try to keep your arms close to the ground as you perform the twisting motion with your torso. This will help you avoid any unnecessary strain on your neck, upper spine, and shoulders.
Keep your legs parallel: Do not sink your knees lower than your pelvis. To feel a deeper stretch in your spine and obliques from the Revolved Abdomen Twist pose, ensure that your legs are aligned and parallel with your arms. This will help you maintain a healthy alignment in this pose.
Part 4: Relaxing Poses After Jathara Parivartanasana
After practicing the abdomen twist pose, the torso muscles need to relax.
To deeply relax your lower back, a few counter poses can help. Here are a few you can try:
1. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose): Soon after you finish the Revolved Abdomen pose, spread your legs in a Butterfly pose and flex your arms overhead.
Ensure that your knees are close to the ground and your spine is lengthened and your arms are extended. Close your eyes and focus on deep inhaling and exhaling. Hold this pose here for 1 to 5 minutes. This counter pose will soothe any tension around your tailbone and throughout your upper body.
2. Apanasana (Wind-Relieving Pose): After the Reclining Bound Angle pose, continue to relax your lower back further with Apanasana. Draw both the knees close to your chest, wrap both arms around your legs, and start breathing deeply.
Slowly rock side-to-side in this position. This will help stimulate your lower back’s connective tissue and support your spine in relaxing completely.