We just finished our third Yoga teacher training for the year. We are always pleased to see the transformation in our students after four weeks of learning a traditional, holistic practice of Yoga, one that is fully integrated with practical training in Ayurveda. Yoga and Ayurveda are often called “sister sciences” because they are meant to work hand-in-hand to guide us to balance and freedom.
One of the ways we can honor these complementary traditions is by using Yoga asana to balance the doshas. For example, with summer here, I recommend placing more emphasis on twists to balance pitta dosha. The summertime months are ruled by pitta and, even if it is not your primary dosha, the fire element is more present in our lives.
Jathara parivartanasana from the ground up
Because jathara parivartanasana variations are reclined, but active, twists, they are accessible for both new and advanced yogis. The variations reach different parts of the spine so you’ll always have a new level to explore.
Lie on your back, legs and feet together, arms extended to a lazy “T” (just below shoulder height), palms facing down. Ground your shoulder blades and back of your head into the earth.
You may keep your gaze toward the ceiling or turn it to the opposite direction of the twist by lifting your head, turning your face, and placing your cheek on the ground. To finish, lift the head, turn the face back to center, then lay the head down.
Hold 15-20 breaths on each side. Come out of the pose by first lifting your head back to center if you turned your gaze, then let the hips follow. Remember to move with your breath as you go into and out of the poses. Repeat the variation on the other side.
Common trouble spots