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Yoga: the compass yoga pose and flow

Come fare la posizione della bussola

The compass pose

A few months ago I came across an instagram picture showing a yogini in an elegant yoga pose: the compass pose (also known as the sundial pose). Its name in Sanskrit is Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (parivrtta means revolution, surya sun and yantra instrument).

This is a challenging asana and is performed by sitting in its most classic variant. It requires strength and flexibility throughout the body, in particular a great stretching of the abductor muscles and a good opening of the pelvis, hips and shoulders.

I am fascinated by Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana because I find it extremely feminine.

The next day, after a few rounds of Sun Salutation on my yoga mat, I tried to get into the compass pose in order to test my skill and flexibility: I realized that I had a lack of flexibility in my back and in the hamstrings and hip flexors. In fact, I was not able to grab the top of my right foot with my left hand, except by using a strap around the foot to approach it. Also, both my pelvis and my back did not open sufficiently.

The right approach to get into the compass pose 

I’m not a competitive person but I like challenges with myself. I like to explore my limits and try to overcome them. Since my back and my muscles surrounding my pelvis were never been so flexible, I created this specific yoga flow to loosen and lengthen them.

In order to prepare my body to get into the compass pose harmoniously, I began a constant yoga practice. A practice that tried out my patience, my ego.

Striving for greater body flexibility does not bring benefits; you risk only to get hurt and consequently to regress in practice.

Every time I practice for the pleasure of practicing, without having expectations and without giving voice to my ego, I reach a goal. I learned to live in the present moment accepting it day after day; at the end I reached the compass pose: my pose, the one that makes me feel good.

This yoga sequence gave me the opportunity to focus on areas of the body full of tensions and not very flexible. Of course, I could twist my back more, raise the leg more, keep it even more straight or put my gaze toward the sky. Yes I could. Maybe it will happen, who knows. Flawless yoga poses  are not part of my journey. I think that each of us has our own physical conformation and we should always respect our body and its limits.

The yoga flow to get into the compass pose

If you have too much tension built up in your shoulders and you feel pelvic stiffness, this flow will help to loosen you up and relax. The yoga poses I show you here are specific to create space in the pelvis area, to make your torso more flexible and to open your shoulders.

To start it is essential to warm up: a series of ten Sun Salutation A&B is an excellent warming-up. As far as the compass sequence is concerned, I suggest you keep each pose for at least 10-15 breaths or as long as you can hang out in the pose without feeling pain. Indeed, if you feel pain or discomfort, I recommend you get slowly out of the pose and maybe try again later with greater caution and for less time.

Why do we practice challenging yoga poses?

Yoga is a very varied inner journey that requires, among other things, the practice of asanas. These will allow you to gain awareness of the muscles of your body, even the most hidden, poorly stimulated or less developed.

For me the advanced postures are an extra incentive to vary my daily practice and to test my ability to be patient and to let go of my ego. Advanced yoga poses that require a dedicated and focused practice are life lessons because they teach us to have perseverance, willpower and patience.


The compass pose :

  • opens the hips, the groin and the shoulders
  • lengthens and tones the hamstrings
  • extends and strengthens the spine and the lower body
  • strengthens the abdomen by developing a sense of balance
  • stimulates digestion
  • is beneficial to the liver and kidneys

Try practicing this flow of 17 poses and the results will follow. Constancy and patience are the keys to the realization, remember it!

If you want to keep me updated on your progress I would be really happy!

Thanks for being here with me,

namasté yogis!

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