Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The yoga belt or: How I learned to stop worrying and love twists.

A couple months ago, the local Iyengar yogis had a benefit class for George Purvis.  Near the end of a lovely backbend sequence, Emilie Rogers taught a chair twist with a belt.  It was amazing.  It added a whole new feeling to my twist.  So I started adding this belt to other twists.  For many of them, it was equally informative.

So, I'm breaking my own rule of not including chairs in this blog.  Here is the Emilie Rogers chair twist:

 Sit sideways in a chair, with your right side near the chair back.  Make a loop in a belt, place it over your right shoulder.  Take the belt around your back and hold in your left hand.

Bow to the chair.  Take the tail end of the belt and wrap it around the back of the chair a couple of times.

Then, as you sit up, the chair will pull your right shoulder back as well as encourage your left ribs to turn.  If you need more, lean forward and repeat the process, taking up slack on the belt.  And, of course, do both sides.  Do a better job keeping your hips level than I did.

So now for some other poses:

In Parsva Upavista Konasana, have the same loop around the right shoulder, take it around the left side of the body, then around the right foot.  Take it around the little toe side of the foot first and hold with the left hand.  Bend forward, take up slack, then sit back up.

In Parsva Dandasana, the same format applies, although taking it around both feet reminds the hips to stay level.  If you are turning to the right, the belt goes around the little toe side of the right foot first.

In Marichyasana 1, the belt goes around the same shoulder as straight leg.  It also helps the forward bending aspect of this pose.  Continue to tighten up the belt more and more to come forward.

Janu Sirsasana is my absolute favorite with the belt.  Again, the belt goes around the same shoulder as straight leg.  This really lines up the sternum with the thigh.  Wonderful. 

Thanks Emilie!


  1. The information about yoga given in this blog was really amazing. Thanks for sharing.
    with regards
    Reiki Training in Chennai

  2. Hi Emilie. ;)
    Awesome info on using belt.
    Do you have any info, along with pictures, for extended triangle?
    I have trouble with keeping weight in the back leg in triangle. Do you have suggestions for how to keep weight there using a belt?
    Again, awesome info and pin!

    Sincerely, Randy Jellen