Little Boat Twist (Parsva Pavana Muktasana)

Little Boat Twist exercise is also known as parsva pavana muktasana and is useful in increasing the flexibility of the back and relaxing middle and lower spine. It opens the shoulders and the chest while simultaneously stimulating the abdomen to aid digestion. This pose can also be used as a cool down pose.

Upper back and shoulders should touch the floor and the breathing should be even. To simplify the exercise, keep the feet on the floor.

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Perform the pose by gently rocking from side to side and exhale while twisting and inhale while returning back. This will add some motion to the pose. Intensify the pose by straightening the legs after twist. Avoid this exercise if you have abdominal problems or strained neck.

How it is to be done - lying on the floor.

Suitable for - Everybody.

Steps - actual procedure for that asana.

  1. Start with Little Boat pose
  2. Move your arms to the side in the outward direction at the shoulder height. The palms should face downwards
  3. Now exhale and lower your knees to the right towards the floor. Your knees should be joined.

    Your upper back and shoulders should touch the floor
  4. Turn your head leftwards and look over the left shoulder while the neck is relaxed
  5. Be in this pose for half to 1 minute and then inhale as you go back to Little Boat Pose
  6. Perform steps 2 to 5 for the other side

Modification to the exercise: the following exercise is a modification to the above exercise to ease the discomfort to the neck or shoulders.

  1. Look upwards and tilt the chin downwards slightly to lengthen the back of the neck to ease the discomfort in the neck
  2. To ease the discomfort in the shoulders, keep your hands on the floor and palms should face up. Bring the shoulders down to the floor

Benefits to body parts - Increase the flexibility of the spine. Relaxes mid and lower spine. Opens the shoulders and chest. Stimulates abdomen to aid digestion. The modified version massages back. The intense version is also good for stretching hips.

Other benefits - Helps visualizing.

Precautions - Avoid this exercise if you have abdominal problems or strained neck.

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