Kativakrasana – Spinal Twist Pose, How To Do, Benefits

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Kativakrasana is a pose which gives a twist to the spine. Though Kati means pelvis or waist, the twist is experienced by the entire spine and hence the name. It is a supine asana i.e. the asana is practiced by lying in supine (facing ceiling) position.

This pose twists, stretches and strengthens spine and back and also provides flexibility therein. It allows the mobility of the spine to improve.
Read – Kati Chakrasana Standing Spinal Twist Pose Method, Benefits, Side Effects

Meaning

Kati = waist
Vakra = twist
Asana = pose


Preparation for Kativakrasana

Method of doing

Positioning for the Asana

Lie down on back in supine position with legs extended and arms by the side of the body.
Breathe easily.

Performing

Variant 1 – with feet on ground

Bend both legs at the knees and place the feet on the ground. The knees are in close opposition to each other. The feet are together.

Now open both hands to 180 degrees in the line of the shoulders. Now the stretched out arms are perpendicular to the body.

Drop both knees together to left side such that the left knee touches the ground and right knee is placed exactly over the left knee. The feet too are placed similarly one over the other with the left foot resting on the floor (its outer border) and the right foot is placed on the left foot with both big toes touching each other.

Alternate method – Some people prefer practicing by keeping the knees apart when the knees are flexed. Here the feet too are kept apart. The twist to the left (and later to the right) side is done from here. While doing this the knees and feet are not placed one over the other. Each knee touches the floor separately; the right knee is behind the left knee. Each foot also touches the floor separately; the right foot is behind the left foot. (The positions of knee and feet are opposite when the twist is done on the right side).

Now twist head to the opposite side i.e. to the left side.

Now spine is twisted from knees to one side and from head to the other side. The entire spine is twisted here. Hold here for few breaths.

Release from the asana

  • Inhale.
  • Slowly come back to the center.
  • Extend limbs and relax.
  • Repeat the same steps on the opposite (right) side.

Variant 2 – with feet off the ground and bent knees close to the abdomen

Start by sleeping in supine position as in variant 1.

Bend knees. The knees and feet are closer to each other. Open both arms in the line of shoulders such that they are perpendicular with body.

Gradually lift feet off the floor. Bring knees closer to abdomen or chest. Try to get them as close as possible to the front of torso. Bring up the knees with as much ease as they come without trying to pull up butts or tail bone too much off floor.

From here allow both knees to fall off on to the floor towards left side as done in variant 1. The feet too fall off to the floor on the same side, one with right foot over the left foot.

From here twist head to the opposite side i.e. right side. Be here for few breaths and feel the stretch with twist. Release coming back to center keeping the knees close to belly / chest as you had placed them before the twist.

Extend limbs, breathe freely and relax. Repeat the same steps on the opposite (right) side.

Note: In both variants you may twist to the opposite side directly from the center instead of extending limbs and starting the steps all over again.
Read – Health Benefits Of Yoga: Mind And Body

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfGRnWSl30E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=die-QkGf5r0

Health Benefits

  • Gives good twist and stretch to entire spine
  • Strengthens and rejuvenates the spine
  • It helps in improving the spine mobility
  • Stretches, strengthens and makes flexible the muscles around neck, spine and abdomen
  • Helps relieve the fat around belly
  • The pose also gives good twist to the abdomen and abdominal organs. The abdominal organs are massaged and hence their functions improve.
  • It has an immense restorative value and is used as an end practice for many yoga poses. In order to relieve strain and tension from the body after having practiced the other poses kativakrasana is practiced at the end. This will enable you to go into corpse pose and feel more relaxed there.
  • Relaxes body and mind.
  • Helps in calming the mind and relieves stress.

Follow Up Poses

Time spent

One needs to be in this pose for at least 2-3 deep breaths or for a time period of 30 seconds or as comfortable one feels in the pose. The same time should be spent while the pose is done on the opposite side.

Contraindications, Precautions

Patients suffering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Kativakrasana –

  • Severe back injuries
  • Severe abdominal injuries
  • Those who have undergone surgeries on the back and abdomen

Caution

This pose may be avoided during menstruation and pregnancy.
Read – Padmasana Lotus Pose, How to do, Benefits, Side Effects, Ayurveda View

Impact on doshas and tissues

Impact on Doshas and its subtypes – Since this pose twists and massages the abdominal organs and helps in improving their functions, especially those of digestion and evacuation, the pose is said to be good for the balance of functions of pachaka pitta, ranjaka pitta, samana vata, apana vata and kledaka kapha. Since the pose calms the body and mind and gives good relaxation from stress, it is good for prana vata, vyana vata and sadhaka pitta functions.

Impact on tissues – Since Katichakrasana provides good stretch, twist and flexibility to the spine and vertebrae and also rejuvenates them, it is beneficial for the bone tissue and the channels of transportation of bone tissue. The pose also tones up the muscles around the spine, neck and back and in the abdomen by twisting and stretching them effectively. Therefore it is good for functioning and health of muscle tissues and channels related to the muscle tissue.
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

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