Visvamitrasana
Photo: Ness Sherry Photography

How to practice Visvamitra pose

A guide to the pose dedicated to Visvamitra (Visvamitrasana)*

This is an advanced asana that takes time to master, yet with practice this pose teaches us both strength and grace.

First of all, let’s take a look at the benefits of this pose before exploring how to get into it.

Benefits:

It strengthens wrists, arms, core and feet.

It stretches the backs of the legs.

Improves balance and concentration.

Contraindications:

Any participants with injuries to wrists, shoulders or, hamstrings should avoid this asana.

 

 

* Please note that in some yoga traditions this asana is called Vasisthasana

How to access this asana:

Fully warm up by taking sun salutations, warrior 2, extended side angle pose and revolved head to knee pose in order to open up the side body and hamstrings.

Starting from down dog, exhale and lower to plank. Place your right hand in the centre of your mat. Now, keeping your core engaged, roll onto the blade of your right foot sending your hips high. Push your right foot firmly into the ground to establish your connection with the earth. Now place your left hand down the side of your left leg which is stacked on the right. On an inhalation raise your left hand to stack it over your right, spreading through your collarbones. Keep grounding through your bottom hand. Use the rebound surge of energy to lift your hips higher. Exhale.

Inhale, as you open your left pelvic bone to the sky and gracefully raise your left leg.  Catch around the big toe with the first two fingers of your left hand. You will notice a deep stretch along the left hamstrings.

Now really push into your bottom foot just as if you were taking extended side angle pose and lift your heart centre to the sky.

With your root chakra established between foot and hand the rest of the chakras along your spine will open. As you direct your gaze to your suspended foot, allow your mind to be calm. With awareness, take five nourishing breaths through your open heart. Feel your whole body alive and spacious.

Exhale, gently releasing the foot to stack again on the bottom in a side plank, whilst keeping the top left arm suspended. On an inhale, allow your top arm to create more space through your torso as you reach up towards the sky. Exhale and place the left arm back on the left side body, inhale and take chaturanga. Repeat on left side.

Teresa Yap-Young

Bedfordshire based Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga teacher. Teresa has been practicing yoga for over twenty years and teaching for five.