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A long day can leave your legs sore, your back achy, your neck stiff, and your mind racing. End your evening with one last juicy hamstring opener, mini-twist, and shoulder stretch all in one.
Find length in the sides of your body and a deeper twist as you move step by step into Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana is an invigorating spinal twist and chest opener that releases diaphragmatic tension and intercostal muscles, enhancing breathing. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana makes the hamstrings vulnerable, especially near the sitting bones where the muscles attach. An invigorating spinal twist and chest opener that releases diaphragmatic tension and intercostal muscles, enhancing breathing. Keeping your right leg bent, turn your right arm to hold your right foot from the inside, thumb down. Slowly straighten your right leg, maintaining the pressure and contact of your right inner thigh against the back of your right rib cage, and pulling the foot with your arms.
The Practice: This heat-building flow practice weaves together strong standing poses, balancing poses, and twists that lead to the peak pose, Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose).
Expand the base of this Down Dog by moving your feet toward the back of the mat and your hands toward the front of your mat. Press down through your hands, reach back through your heels, and draw your belly back toward your spine for support in this challenging pose. Tilt your arms back, bringing your left hand to your left thigh and reaching your right fingertips overhead. From Chair, twist to the right, bring your hands to the floor, bend your elbows, and rest your right knee on your left elbow. From Side Crane, sit on your mat with your right knee pointing toward the ceiling and your left foot outside your right hip.
To Finish: Fold into Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend) for 5 breaths and then release to finish your practice in Savasana (Corpse Pose). We go inside yoga teacher Alexandria Crow's head to understand why straightening your arms is so key in so many poses.
For serious arm balance inspiration, look no further than this video from Equinox's Dylan Werner. Revolved Triangle melds two different dynamic energies: rooting down into the earth with the legs, and sending energy, or prana, up through the extended arm. Joining opposing forces is a handy skill to cultivate and practice: Life frequently demands finding balance between two conflicting desires—for instance, finding love and maintaining independence, or building a career while being a devoted parent—and engaging both, to ever-changing degrees, simultaneously. You might think Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose) is all about twisting, but as soon as you reach for the floor, you realize it is also a delicate balancing posture that will feel completely steady and comfortable—if you know how to use your legs and core muscles for support.
In Revolved Triangle, the spine runs parallel to the floor and the descending arm runs perpendicular.
Alexandria Crow explains why a pose’s foundation is so key and what your teacher wants you to do with this key alignment cue. You may want to shorten your stance before bringing a hand to the outside edge of the opposite calf or ankle.
Adding the twist stretches the lower back, and adding a bind further stretches the shoulders.


Feel free to place your forearms onto blocks if you cannot comfortably bring them to your mat. Try to keep length in your spine as you fold forward, drawing the navel over the center of your extended leg.
It also removes tension along the spine and lengthens the sides of the waist, stretching the abdominal organs, especially the ascending and descending colon, liver, spleen, and pancreas, enhancing digestion and elimination. To be safe, contract the quadriceps very powerfully, sending a message to the hamstrings to stop contracting. Turn your chest toward the bent knee, fingertips on the floor, right hand in front between your legs and your left hand behind your left buttock.
Bend your right leg, then bend your torso sideways to the right and hold the outside of your right foot with your left hand. Turn your chest ?toward the bent knee, fingertips on the floor, right hand in front between your legs and your left hand behind your left buttock.
Pull strongly with your hands, bending your elbows so that the sides of your waist lengthen.
After your leg is straight, press your right outer elbow into the floor and press your left elbow toward the floor behind you, opening your chest and twisting your waist. Think of it as a detox: As heat builds and you feel your body opening, you will cleanse out old energy and allow renewed energy to emerge.
Allow the movements to create a feeling of fluidity, suppleness, and power along your spine. Complete your warm-up with 3 rounds of Surya Namaskar A and Surya Namaskar B (Sun Salutations). Bring your feet together, bend your knees, tilt your weight forward, and rest your knees in your armpits as you lift your feet. Then repeat Parivrtta Parsvakonasana through Triangle on the second side, finishing in Downward Dog. The pose is a classic representation of what Patanjali, in the Yoga Sutra, describes as the union of sthira and sukha—effort and ease, hard and soft, expanding and contracting, ascending and descending, and solar and lunar. When alignment is correct, the posture can create strength and flexibility in the hamstrings and establish balance both physically and energetically. With the front leg, these three lines of the body form a right-angle triangle—a stable, structurally sound shape. Tight hamstrings are common, from running, biking, and sitting at a desk all day, but you could also have the opposite problem: Students with long legs and flexible hamstrings consistently take a stance that is too short for their height, so when they dive down into the pose, their heads hang way below their hips, eliminating all right angles and core stability from Revolved Triangle.
Two preliminary postures, Janu Sirsasana (Head-of the-Knee Pose) and Marichyasana III (Marichi’s Pose), will help you familiarize yourself with your hamstring flexibility, isolate forward bending and twisting, and prepare you for a healthy, secure Revolved Triangle.
Keep your right leg straight, with the toes and kneecap pointing up and the quads contracted.
Exhale and reach your left hand toward your right foot, moving into a slight twist to the right. Bring your right knee to your chest and bring your heel to the floor in front of your right buttock. Exhale, turn slightly to the right, and prop yourself up from behind you with your right hand. Inhale, pull your belly in, lift the chest, wrap your left elbow around the shin, and then exhale and pull deeper into the twist, looking over your right shoulder.


Keep the chest lifted, spine parallel to the floor, shoulders stacked, and legs strong, quads contracted.
Look up at the right hand, holding your head in line with the spine and keeping length in your torso. When you start to "sag," says Eddie Modestini, who will lead Yoga Journal's upcoming Vinyasa 101 course.
Pulling the body down in any forward bend when the hamstrings have not released enough to free the spine may damage the lower vertebrae. On an inhalation, press your fingertips into the floor and lift the bottom of your belly and the sides of your waist. Slowly walk your right hand away from your pelvis, in between your legs, until the back of your right rib cage, or the back of the right back, is on the inside of your inner right thigh. Slowly walk your right hand away from your pelvis, in between your legs, ?until the back of your right rib cage, or the back of the right back, is on the inside of your ?inner right thigh. If your pelvis tips back and you aren’t at a right angle because of tight hamstrings, put a folded blanket under your hips.
This protects you from overstretching, and tells the hamstrings (the opposing muscles) that it is OK to relax and stretch. If you have dropped your chest to reach your foot, you have lost extension in the spine, so hold the leg around the calf or thigh instead, or use a strap around the extended foot. Press the rib cage forward and move the back ribs toward the front of the body to bring more length to the spine and lower back.
This helps you initiate twisting from the pelvis and lower back, instead of only the midback and shoulders. Distribute your weight equally on both feet, pressing them into the floor, and begin to shift more weight into your left hand. Shift your weight slightly forward toward your toes to keep your hips in line with your ankles. With your other arm, add the mini-bind, reaching for the thigh of your opposite leg, to stretch the shoulder.
If your breath becomes strained or rapid, move more slowly or come into Balasana (Child’s Pose) to rest. As you take one hand to the earth (or a block), and reach the other to the sky, you find stability and are able to stand your ground while surrendering to both the present moment and the mystery of tomorrow.
If you are tight in the hamstrings and therefore the hips, and if you’re feeling pressured by your own ego (or even a teacher), you can easily lose your balance and critical extension in your spine as you try to place your bottom hand on the floor and twist open into the full expression of the pose. You’ll end up folding forward from the back instead of the hips, losing core stability and grounding in the legs, and even squeezing the front edges of the vertebral discs that are meant to divide the vertebrae. And remember to stay humble: Remove the striving for accomplishment and instead go for the experience of whatever you can do in the moment. Repetitive compressed folding and twisting, without a lifted chest and an extended spine, can result in back injuries over time that take months, if not years, to recover from.



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