Visvamitrasana strengthens the hands, wrists, shoulder, side body, and thighs while stretching the opposite side, shoulder, hips and hamstrings. There's also a twisting element in this pose in revolving the chest open and upward while keeping the hips stable. My favorite way to transition into this pose is from Lizard pose (utthan pristhasana), but it can also be found from Gate pose or Parsvakonasana (side angle).
To enter Visvamitrasana from Lizard pose (left leg forward), brace your left shoulder against your inner left thigh and ground your left hand directly beneath the shoulder. Keep the upper arm bone hugging tightly into the shoulder socket so that your shoulderblade is flat against your back; this will protect and stabilize the shoulder as you find your balance. Straighten your right leg and roll onto the inner edge of your right foot, then press the entire sole of the foot into the ground. Finally, feeling grounded in the left hand and right foot, lift the left foot from the floor, grab the outer edge of the foot with the right hand, and straighten the left leg, revolving the body open. Gaze down for added stability, or gaze up for maximum openness.
Visvamitrasana Sequence: Vasistha and Visvamitra are at it again.
- Anjaneyasana (Crecent Lunge)
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)
- Ardha chandrasana (Half-moon)
- Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half-moon)
- Urdhva prasarita eka padasana (Standing splits)
- Utthan pristhasana (Lizard pose)
- Visvamitrasana - right side
- Vasisthasana - left side
- Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Eka pada rajakapotasana (Half pigeon)
- Agnistambhasana (Firelog pose)
- Repeat on the other side.