How to Do Revolved Side Angle Pose: Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

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Also Known As: Twisting Side Angle pose, Rotated Side Angle pose, Side Angle Twist

Targets: Whole body

Equipment Needed: Yoga mat (optional)

Level: Intermediate

The Sanskrit names of twists, or revolved poses, have the word parivrrta in front. In Revolved Side Angle, when the right foot is forward, the left hand goes with it. This changes the direction of your twist, which is where the revolved part comes in. This pose is seen in Ashtanga yoga and other styles as well.

How to Do Revolved Side Angle Pose

Woman doing revolved side angle pose on yoga mat

Verywell / Ben Goldstein

This pose is best performed on a yoga mat. If you don't have a mat available, use a surface that allows you to get into position without your feet slipping. When used as part of a sequence, transition to Revolved Side Angle from Downward Facing Dog.

  1. Bring your left foot forward to the inside of your left hand. Your front toes are in line with your fingers and your leg is bent at a 90-degree angle, with your thigh parallel to the floor. The knee is stacked above the heel with the foot facing forward.
  2. Pivot on the ball of your right foot to drop your right heel to the floor.
  3. Place your right hand to the outside of your left foot, allowing your right shoulder to rest on the outside of the left knee. If possible, allow your hand to be flat on the ground with the heel of the hand aligning with the heel of the left foot.
  4. Draw your belly button toward your spine as you twist your torso toward your left knee, opening the chest and stacking the right shoulder on top of the left.
  5. Lift your left arm toward the ceiling, bringing your gaze up to the left hand.
  6. Stay in the twist for three to five breaths.
  7. Step back to Downward Dog, then do the pose with the right foot forward.

Benefits of Revolved Side Angle Pose

This pose strengthens and stretches the legs, groin, spine, shoulders, and chest. That makes it good for promoting strength and flexibility throughout the entire body. It's also a good pose for challenging your balance.

Revolved poses are traditionally believed to help stimulate the organs and promote a healthy range of motion. Many people find that these poses can relieve stress, and they may help reduce back pain.

Other Variations of Revolved Side Angle Pose

This pose can be modified to match your level of flexibility and strength.

Altered Neck Position

If needed, keep your neck in a neutral position so you don't strain your cervical spine (the seven bones in the neck region of the spine). Look forward, not up if you have neck sensitivity.

Different Arm Position

There are a number of ways to place your arms in this pose if the traditional position doesn't feel comfortable or causes strain. The bottom hand can go inside or outside the front foot, for instance. The top arm can also go straight up or over your ear.

If the right hand doesn't comfortably reach the floor, place a block under it so that you can still benefit from the twist. You can also stay on your fingertips instead of bringing your right hand flat.

Lifted Heel Position

Another variation is to stay on the ball of your right foot instead of dropping your right heel. This makes the leg position more like a lunge and is easier on the back knee.

Hand Inside Foot

Bring the right hand to the outside of the left foot instead of the inside. (Your right shoulder comes to the outside of your left knee.) This intensifies the twist and challenges your balance. It's okay to use a block under your hand here or stay up on your fingertips if you need to.

Release your left arm over your left ear so that it reaches toward the front of the room. Turn your thumb toward the ceiling and your pinky toward the floor. Your gaze comes up under the left biceps.

Common Mistakes

To get the most from this pose, avoid these errors.

Improper Spinal Alignment

In this pose, your spine is twisted but not curved. Avoid rounding the back or curving it forward. You want a straight line and a neutral spine. Allow the twist to come from the waist, as if the heart could rotate toward the sky.

Knee Not Over Ankle

To protect your front knee, it must be kept over the ankle. Extending it too far forward can strain the knee joint and result in pain or injury.

Safety and Precautions

Avoid this pose if you have an injury to the neck, back, or shoulders. As it requires balance, it may not be suitable for people with high or low blood pressure or those who are pregnant. Also, avoid this pose when you have diarrhea.

If there is any concern about this pose, talk to your doctor or physical therapist to see if it is safe for you. If it isn't, ask for other poses or physical activities you can do safely based on your level of fitness and physical condition.

Stop doing Revolved Side Angle pose if you feel discomfort beyond normal stretching, or if you feel pain. When first starting out, try to stay in position for three to five breaths. More advanced practitioners may want to hold the pose for up to 10 breaths.

Try It Out

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Yoga Journal. Revolved Side Angle Pose.

  2. Everyday Yoga. How to do revolved side angle pose in yoga.

  3. Grabara M, Szopa J. Effects of hatha yoga exercises on spine flexibility in women over 50 years oldJ Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(2):361-365. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.361

  4. Acar S, Demırbüken İ, Algun C, Malkoç M, Tekın N. Is hypertension a risk factor for poor balance control in elderly adults? J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27(3):901-904. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.901

  5. Jiang Q, Wu Z, Zhou L, Dunlop J, Chen P. Effects of yoga intervention during pregnancy: a review for current statusAm J Perinatol. 2015;32(6):503-514. doi:10.1055/s-0034-1396701

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.