Compass Yoga Pose

Compass Yoga Pose is a seated pose that targets the hamstrings and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an advanced level.

svadisthana – the sacral chakra
related poses
How To Do Compass Yoga Pose
  1. Begin by entering the Staff Pose (Dandasana), spine straight and long with legs outstretched in front of you. Rotate the left leg outward slightly and bend the knee, bringing the sole of the left foot to the inner right thigh. The outer left leg should be pressed against the floor, knee pointing out to the left.
  2. Exhale and pull the right foot in toward the groin, bending the right knee directly up. Draw the knee inward and hug it into your chest.
  3. Inhale, lifting the right foot up with your left hand as you turn the leg outward so that the back of the leg faces out toward the right. As you do this, bring the right arm around the outside of the right leg and underneath the knee, placing the right fingertips on the floor.
  4. Continue to lift and extend the right leg, bringing the knee high up on the right shoulder. Bring the left hand to the outside of the right foot and pull the left arm back behind your head as you straighten your leg.
  5. Open up the shoulders, twisting the torso slightly to the left. Lift up through the spine while leaning back slightly toward your lifted leg. Bring the majority of your weight to your right hand and right sitting-bone. Gently lift the head without compressing the neck and gaze up at the left elbow.
  6. Hold this pose for several breaths, 20-30 seconds if possible. To come out, release the left hand from the right foot, untwisting as you lower your leg down to a cross-legged position. Repeat all steps on the other leg.
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • This pose is advanced and requires flexible hamstrings and shoulders.
  • If you’re having trouble holding the foot with your opposite hand as you extend, do not bend over to force your head under the arm in order to bring the arm behind the head. This can lead to neck strain or injury.
  • Do not attempt if you have a knee or back injury.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the higher up on the shoulder you can get the knee of the lifted leg, the easier the pose is.
If you are having difficulty holding onto the extended leg due to tight hamstrings, use a yoga strap to pull the leg up into place. Don’t pull too forcefully, which may lead to a pulled muscle or injury.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, quads, shoulders, lats

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, shoulders, lats

Health Benefits of Compass Yoga Pose
  • May relieve stress, anxiety and mild depression.
  • Beneficial for insomnia and headaches.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

(par-ee-vrt-tah SUHR-yaa yahn-trAHS-anna)

parivrtta: turned around, revolved
surya: sun, solar
yantra: instrument, device
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?