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Compass Pose – Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana

Pose Summary

Compass pose is equally a stretching and strengthening pose that demands a lot of your hamstrings, hips and shoulders. Make sure to warm up with other preparatory poses to soften your hamstrings, open up your hips and shoulders before practicing this pose.

Yoga Collective - Compass Pose – Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana


Step 1

Start seated in Dandasana.

Step 2

Bend your left knee out to the side as in Easy Pose.

Step 3

Bring your right knee up to your chest and slide your right arm on the inside of the leg to grab the outside of the right foot.

Step 4

Lift the right foot off the ground until your shin is parallel to the floor. Use your hand to press the right knee back touching the side of your right torso.

Step 5

Change the grip by bringing your left hand over to clasp the outside of the right foot.

Step 6

Release the right hand down to the floor a few inches to the right from your seat. The right arm is now underneath the right leg.

Step 7

Make sure your right knee comes back enough so you can place the right leg on back of the right shoulder.

Step 8

Shift your weight to your left sitting bone and start straightening your right leg while trying to keep the right hand and left knee grounded. To avoid rounding the back and to protect your lower back make sure you are keeping anterior tilt in your pelvis, pressing the left thigh down.

Step 9

Pull the left hand back so the shoulder opens and allows your chest to twist to the left.

Step 10

Your chest is now open to the left side, gaze up to the sky. Right arm stays straight and supports you while holding this pose. Take a few deep breaths here.

Step 11

Release the leg and return to Easy Pose. Change side.


A good way to get a feeling for the pose is to use a strap around the foot if you aren’t open enough to get into the full pose yet. If the seated knee lifts up you can use a blanket or block to give it support.


  • Opens the hips.
  • Stretches shoulders, arms and legs.
  • Builds focus and confidence.


  • Pose should be avoided if you have any injuries in shoulders, arms, hamstrings or hips.
  • If you suffer from sciatica or have any herniated disks you should avoid this pose.
  • Avoid this pose if you are pregnant as the pose creates pressure on the pelvic floor muscles.