Parivrtta Marichyasana, Bitilasana, and Viparita Karani are yoga poses that can help in achieving a toned back. Parivrtta Marichyasana is a seated twist pose that targets the muscles of the spine, including the erector spinae and deep spinal rotators. It helps increase flexibility, strengthen the back, and improve posture.
Bitilasana, also known as Cow Pose, is a gentle backbend that primarily targets the muscles of the lower and upper back, including the erector spinae, rhomboids, and trapezius.
Viparita Karani, or Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose, is a restorative inversion pose that offers numerous benefits for the body, including the back muscles.
Here’s a detailed guide to practise the three asanas for a stronger and toned back
What are the steps to practise Parivrtta Marichyasana yoga pose or Revolved Sage Pose?
Here are the steps to practise Parivrtta Marichyasana (Revolved Sage Pose):
• Begin by sitting on your mat with your legs extended in front of you (staff pose). Keep your spine straight and your legs together.
• Bend your right knee and bring your right foot towards your pelvis, placing it on the floor. The sole of your foot should be flat on the ground.
• Keep your left leg extended and engaged, pressing the back of your left heel firmly into the mat.
• Inhale and lift your arms overhead, lengthening your spine. Exhale and twist your torso to the right, bringing your left elbow to the outside of your right thigh. Keep your right hand resting on the floor behind your back for support.
• As you twist, ensure that you maintain a tall and lengthened spine. Avoid collapsing the chest or rounding the shoulders.
• Gently press your left elbow against your right thigh to deepen the twist. Keep your gaze over your right shoulder or towards the right side.
• Hold the pose for five to 10 deep breaths, allowing the twist to deepen with each exhale.
• To release the pose, inhale and slowly unwind the twist, returning to the centre with a straight spine.
• Repeat the same steps on the other side, bending your left knee and twisting to the left.
Yoga straps to practise Parivrtta Marichyasana yoga pose or Revolved Sage Pose
A yoga strap can be used to assist in reaching your hands or binding in the pose. If you can’t comfortably reach your hands together behind your back, you can hold onto the strap with both hands and use it as an extension of your arms to create a bind.
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What are the steps to practise Bitilasana yoga pose or Cow pose?
Here are the steps to practise Bitilasana (Cow Pose):
• Start by positioning yourself on your hands and knees, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. This is called the tabletop position.
• Ensure that your wrists are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are aligned with your hips. Your fingers should be spread wide for stability.
• As you inhale, gently lift your sitting bones and allow your belly to drop towards the mat. This will create a gentle arch in your lower back.
• Simultaneously, lift your chest forward and upward, rolling your shoulder blades down and back. Your gaze can be directed slightly upward.
• Keep your neck relaxed and avoid straining or overextending it.
• Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the stretch along your spine and the opening of your chest.
• To transition out of the pose, exhale and gently return to the tabletop position, with a neutral spine.
• You can repeat the Bitilasana-Cow Pose sequence several times, synchronising your breath with the movements. Inhale as you move into Cow Pose and exhale as you return to the neutral tabletop position.
Yoga blocks to practise Bitilasana yoga pose or Cow pose
Placing a yoga block between your hands or under your palms can help with stability and proper alignment. It can provide support if you have wrist issues or limited flexibility, allowing you to ease into the pose.
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What are the steps to practise Viparita Karani?
Viparita Karani is a gentle and restorative pose that can be practised any time, especially to promote relaxation and relieve stress. It’s important to ensure that you are comfortable and supported in the pose, so feel free to make any necessary adjustments with props or blankets to enhance your experience.
Here are the steps to practise Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose):
• Find a clear wall space where you can comfortably lie down. You may want to use a folded blanket or bolster to support your lower back and head.
• Sit sideways next to the wall with one hip touching the wall. Gently lower yourself down onto your back as you swing your legs up against the wall. Your sitting bones should be as close to the wall as possible.
• Once your legs are up the wall, adjust your position so that your lower back is supported by the folded blanket or bolster if desired. Allow your arms to rest by your sides, palms facing up.
• Relax your shoulders and let your entire body settle into the floor. Close your eyes if comfortable and focus on your breath.
• Soften your abdomen and allow the weight of your legs to gently stretch the back of your thighs and release tension in your lower back.
• Stay in this pose for five to 15 minutes, or longer if you wish. Breathe deeply and consciously, allowing your body to relax and your mind to calm.
• To come out of the pose, slowly bend your knees and roll onto one side, resting in a foetal position for a moment.
• Use your hands to press into the floor and gently lift yourself up to a seated position.
Yoga bolster to practise Viparita Karani yoga pose or Legs-Up-the-Wall pose
Placing a bolster or a cushion under your hips can provide support and elevate your pelvis slightly, enhancing the relaxation and gentle inversion of the pose. It can also alleviate any discomfort in the lower back.
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As with any yoga pose, it’s essential to listen to your body and practise with awareness. If you’re new to Parivrtta Marichyasana or any of the two poses mentioned above have any specific concerns, it’s recommended to practise under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor.
Social and lead images credits: Bhansali Productions, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, Shutterstock
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