Half Prayer Twist

ardha namaskar parsvakonasana

Level: Basic

Instructions

1. From table position, step the right foot between the hands, bringing the right knee directly over the right ankle in a low lunge. The left knee and foot rests on the floor.

2. Bring the left elbow to the right knee and place the palms together in a prayer position.

3. Use the arms to press the right shoulder up and back, twisting the upper back. Look straight ahead or up towards the ceiling. The palms are at the center of the chest and the fingers are pointing up towards the throat.

4. Breathe and hold for 4-8 breaths.

5. To release: exhale the arms back down to the floor in a low lunge position.

6. Repeat on other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Half prayer twist opens the chest and hips, stretches the back muscles, and nourishes and realigns the spine.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, knees, back or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place a folded blanket under the knees to protect them from excess pressure.

Variations: Half Prayer Twist is a an easier variation of Prayer Twist. If you wish to deepen the pose into the full variation, tuck the toes under and straighten the back leg.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Low Lunge, Low Warrior.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Low Lunge, Half Pyramid, Low Warrior.

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