Practice Point: Churning the Mill Pose

Come to one of my classes where I’m focusing on the core and there’s a good chance that chakki chalanasana (churning the mill) will be part of the class. It’s a pose that’s suitable for many people and one that can be easily adapted for different levels of fitness.

It is part of a series of revitalising poses chosen to improve the energy flow and circulation in the lower body. Try this pose in the morning or whenever you’re feeling drowsy. See if it’ll give you that boost you need to continue with your day.


Before you begin ...

Due to the bending and rotational nature of the movement, and the need to strongly engage the abdominals, be cautious if you are pregnant or have abdominal, pelvic or back problems.

This pose is not recommended if:

  • You have had abdominal surgery
  • You are pregnant and in your second or third trimester

The Practice

  1. Sit on the floor with the legs extended and the feet about 30cm apart. If needed, sit on a blanket or cushion to raise the hips or bend the knees and place the feet flat on the floor.

    If you prefer to sit in a chair, sit towards the front of the seat. Have the feet about 30cm apart and flat on the floor.

  2. Extend the arms out in front at shoulder level and interlock the fingers.
  3. Inhale: Gently engage the core muscles, brace the back and lengthen through the torso and spine.
  4. Exhale: Bend forward from the hips, keeping the length in the spine.
  5. Inhale: Circle over one leg and lean back as far as comfortable.
  6. Exhale: Circle over the other leg and come forward.

Do 5-10 circles in one direction and then repeat in the opposite direction.


  • Inhale while circling back.
  • Exhale while circling forward.


  • Only lean back as far as comfortable. Keep the length in the spine. Avoid collapsing or rounding in the lower back.
  • The arms remain straight in front. The forward and backward movement comes from the hips, and the rotational movement from the waist.
  • This pose can also be performed with the hands resting on the thighs or with the arms crossed against the chest and each hand resting on the opposite shoulder.


  • Vary the distance between the feet.
  • Hold a hand weight between your hands.


  • Tones the pelvic and abdominal nerves and organs
  • Strengthens the core muscles
  • Improves digestion
  • Regulates the menstrual cycle