How to Do Bharadvajasana I & II

3 min read

Named after one of the seven great Hindu sages (Bharadvaja), Bharadvajasana is a seated twist appearing in Iyengar and Ashtanga styles of yoga. Bharadvaja translates from Sanskrit to mean “bringing about nourishment”— and the suitably dedicated pose is considered nourishing to the spine and internal organs.

Bharadvajasana II is an intermediate posture that combines Half Hero Pose and Half Lotus Pose with a binding to create an appealing twist.


Bharadvajasanas I and II have similar benefits, including strengthening and stretching the spine muscles, improving shoulder flexibility, and toning and strengthening the core. The hip-opening aspect of the pose also helps to release tension and increase flexibility in the lower body.

How to do Bharadvajasana 1

Start in Staff Position. Sit with your legs extended, and lengthen the spine.

As you bend both knees, swing your heels out to the side of your right hip. This will allow gravity to take the knees towards the ground.

Inhale, and extend from the tailbone to the crown of your head.

Start to turn the torso left on the exhalation.

Hook the back of your right hand around the front left knee.

Finally, if you can reach the bind, wrap your left arm around your back, then grab the right bicep using the left hand. Look to the left.

How to Do Bharadvajasana II

Start in Staff Pose again, with both legs extended and the spine elongated. Bend the right knee to bring the leg into Half Hero Pose. (Place the heel of the leg just outside the hip, and place the shin of the shank on the floor.) Next, move the left leg into Half Lotus Pose. Bend the left leg and place the blade of your left foot on the hip crease. Relax your hips and allow the knee to fall toward the ground. Inhale and lengthen the spine. Exhale and wrap the left hand around the spine until it reaches the left foot. Exhale and inhale again before twisting left. Place the back of your right hand on top of the left leg. Extend your right arm leftward. Tuck your right fingers under the left knee. Settle into Bharadvajasana I & II by doing 8-10 rounds of Ujjayi breathing. You can work backward in order to get out of twists. Then, repeat the same thing on the other side.


If you find Bharadvajasana difficult to do, use a prop like a blanket or block under your seat. The pressure on the knees and the hips can be reduced by allowing the knees to drop below the hips.


Bharadvajasana is a pose that can be difficult for those with knee, hip, or spinal problems. Proceed with caution. Use mindfulness to enter, sustain, and exit both poses. The body is vulnerable due to the positioning of the legs, as well as the twisting component. Bharadvajasana is a less common twist to the standard seated pose. It adds a unique and fresh twist to your repertoire. Bharadvaja is said to have spent his life studying Vedic texts and always trying to learn more before he finally turned to teaching the ways of the world to the masses. The delicate progression of Bharadvajasana teaches us patience and devotion (both on the mat and off! ).

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