Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana(Compass pose) is an advanced seated twist yoga pose. The name Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana is derived from sanskrit words "Parivrtta" which means revolved, "Surya" which means sun, "Yantra" which means instrument and "Asana" which means position.

Effective stretches to do compass pose

Compass pose is an advanced yoga pose that requires hips, hamstring, side body and shoulder flexibility and core strength as well. So, you need to work on those areas to do compass pose safely. For this, you can do following stretches;

Three-legged Downdog

How it helps to do compass pose:

By opening your body, stretching the inner and outer hip and side body.

Tips/Modifications: If you feel pain while keeping your heel on the floor you can lift your heel.

Contraindications: Diarrhea, pregnancy and high blood pressure.

Lizard Pose

How it helps to do compass pose:

By hamstring and hips and warming up shoulders.

Tips/Modifications: If you are unable to place your arms in the floor you can place blocks below the arms and place the knees on the mat if you feel difficult to hold it.

Contraindications: Injury in knees or hips and weak forearms

Wide-legged forward fold

How it helps to do compass pose:

By stretching and strengthening hamstring, hips, low back, spine.

Tips/Modifications: If you feel pain in your hamstring you can place your hands on a block and if you need support you can keep a chair in front of you and place a blanket or pillow on the chair and rest your head and chest on the chair. You can also twist your shoulder to stretch it.

Contraindications: Injury in hips, knees, ankles, back or head, blood pressure and migraine.

Half splits

How it helps to do compass pose:

By stretching the hips, legs, hamstrings and elongating the spine.

Tips/Modifications: If you feel difficulty in touching the floor place a yoga block under your hands and focus on lifting hips up and straightening the spine because it's the point where most of the people make mistake.

Contraindications: Injury in hips, hamstrings or knees and blood pressure.


How it helps to do compass pose:

By stretching and strengthening the thighs, hamstrings, hips and back.

Tips/Modifications: Place blocks or pillows under your front hamstring if you are a beginner.

Contraindications: Injury in hamstrings or hips

Extended hand to big toe pose

How it helps to do compass pose:

By strengthening and stretching legs, ankles and hamstrings and opening up the hips, shoulders and arms.

Tips/Modifications: To modify this pose use a strap or bent the knees if you have tight hamstring and you can also use the wall for better support.

Contraindications: Injury at hips, ankles and low back and low blood pressure.

Wall down dog stretch

How it helps to do compass pose:

By stretching or opening up the shoulders.

Contraindication: Injury in shoulders and arms.

Step by step procedures to do Compass pose

Compass pose is an advanced pose so to help you enter this pose easily, I have created as easy steps as I could.

Step 1: Start from seated pose where you grab one of your leg with your hands.

Step 2: Rotate your left leg externally.

Step 3: After bringing your left leg up place it behind your back and place your right hand slightly away from your left hip.

Step 4: Push your right hand against the ground and try to straighten your left leg   with both hip on the ground.


  1. If you feel difficult to hold your leg straightly, you can use a strap to hold it and to keep it straight.
  2. Rest your back on the wall if you feel back pain(minor only) or difficult to straighten the spine
  3. You can also try easier variations of Compass pose if you are a beginner.
  4. This is a advanced pose so to do it safely practice above mentioned stretches daily and hold each stretch for 30 second in average and don't give up even if it takes you number of months and years to do it.
  5. If you feel severe pain in any part of your body after doing this pose, consult a doctor and follow his instructions.

Benefits of Compass Pose

  1. Stretches hamstring, outer hips, spine and side body.
  2. Stretches the tissues of lung meridian.
  3. Detoxifies the body and relieves stress.
  4. Strengthens and lengthens the spine.
  5. Nourishes the lower back and limbs.


  1. Injury of shoulders, hamstrings, hips, pelvis and stomach.
  2. Injury back or spinal cord.
  3. Pregnant women.