Compass Pose: Holistic Benefits

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana, or Compass Pose, is a challenging seated posture that requires considerable length in the hamstrings, side body, and shoulders in order to gracefully reach the foot without feeling like a hot, tangled mess.

Compass Pose is a challenging asana, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Commitment and patience are required to reach Compass Pose. Even the most advanced of yogis can learn and grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Benefits of Physical Exercise

Stretching through the hamstrings or groin is necessary to prepare the body for Compass Pose. Pose like the half or full split, Heron Pose, or supine Hamstring stretches are all good options. These stretches can reduce lower back pain by allowing for better movement of the lower body.

Happy Baby, Lizard Pose, and Twisted One-Legged Dog can help you achieve the hip opening necessary to express this pose fully.

Hip openers work because they stretch over 20 muscles across the hips. The lengthening of these muscles will allow us to perform basic tasks with more ease (like squatting to pick up something from the floor). It also reduces the likelihood that we will strain our backs.

Gate Pose and Bound Half Moon Pose can help you achieve length in the obliques, as well as movement in the shoulders. The spine can move and rotate more freely when the obliques are strengthened. It also improves posture and alignment throughout the body. Reduced tension in the shoulders helps with tension headaches and stress. It also improves posture.

Mental Benefits

The greatest lesson in yoga is not to be able to perform an asana perfectly on the first try. It’s the journey. The Compass Pose is a challenging posture that requires patience. It may take months or even years to achieve the full expression with the spine and leg extended.

We are reminded of the importance of being in the moment as we prepare our bodies for this pose. The body will not open faster if we push and force it. Similarly, wishing and hoping won’t help us create momentum in our other lives.

Compass Pose reminds us, then, that consistent action, however small, is what helps us reach our goals.

Spiritual Benefits

When we focus on all yoga poses, we can explore our spiritual side.

When difficulties arise, challenging postures often call for even deeper spiritual exploration. On the path to opening our body up enough to do Compass Pose, we are challenged by our lack of tolerance, our tendency toward comparison, and perhaps even our negative inner dialogue.

Compass is not an exception. The extreme hip opening can often lead to the release of negative emotions and unspoken feelings.

Creating space here can help us let go of the need to control all aspects of our lives, allowing more room for creativity and expression.

Compass Pose teaches us acceptance. Compass Pose is a powerful tool that teaches us acceptance.

It’s not the shapes that are important but the lessons we gain about ourselves along the way.

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