Parivritta Paschimottanasana (Revolved Intense Stretch to the West Pose) registers as 9* on Iyengar’s 60* scale of difficulty.
Until attempting this pose as part of my project to do all the poses in Light on Yoga, I never explored this pose before. I love Paschimottanasana so much that I never gave its variations a second thought.
But, Parivritta Paschimottanasana has much to offer. Not only does the pose challenge your sense of what’s possible within a deep forward bend, it also provides numerous benefits, including abdominal toning and stimulation of blood flow around the spine and the kidneys.
Practicing Parivritta Paschimottanasana for the first time, I realized how easy it is to throw your hips out of alignment in the asana. When you attempt the pose on your own, pay attention to how the alignment of your hips changes as you continue to revolve to one side. As you twist to the left, you may notice your right hip point creeping forward. Draw it back in line with your left hip point. This will increase the stretch in your side body and will prevent strain in your lower back as you twist to each side.