June Focus: The Parivrtta Poses

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

Parivrtta means “to turn around” or “to revolve”. The benefits of twisting poses are well documented and include: aiding digestion, increasing mobility in the spine, and serving as an overall energy booster. They also act to neutralize after backbends and forward bends.

We’ll focus, both in seated and standing poses, on grounding our alignment and accessing the twist through the whole spine, and not just the neck. Our twists might appear less twist-y than they used to, but that’s fine!

It’s interesting to consider the word vritti, which is a component of many of the parivrtta poses. In Sanskrit, vrittis represent the turnings of the mind, likened to “whirlpools” that can act as disturbances in the medium of consciousness. Yoga teaches us to use meditation to find a calmer state within these swirling pools. Working with the intelligence of the body and the breath are ways to bring more stability to the mind, and move toward liberation, or as stated in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra: Yoga Citta Vrtti Nirodha! (yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind, or a cessation of the attachment to the fluctuations of the mind)

Parivrtta Trikonasana
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana
Parivrtta Hasta Padangustasana
Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana
Parivrtta Utkatasana
Parivrtta Padmasana
Parivrtta Paschimottanasana