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Monday, December 28, 2015

Tip of the Week: Spine Twisting Pose

 Photo Cred: Bikram Yoga Halifax

Benefits : 
  • This is the only posture that twists the spine from top to bottom, which increases circulation to all the spinal nerves, veins, and tissues, and improves the elasticity of the spine.
  • Spine Twisting relieves lower back pain and helps prevent slipped discs, rheumatism of the spine, kyphosis, scoliosis, cervical spondylosis and arthritis.
  • It calms the nervous system.
To Begin: In a seated position, place the side of the right knee on the floor and bring your right heel to touch the outside of your left hip.  Now lift the leg in the air, bringing it over the bent right leg, and place your left foot just to the outside of the right knee.  This leg is bent at the knee, sole of the foot flat on the floor.  Touch the outside corner of the right knee with your left heel. Bring your right arm up and over to the left, then bring it down on the outside of your left knee, with the elbow pressing back against it.  Take hold of the right knee with your right hand, grasping the kneecap firmly. Now put your left arm behind your back,  palm facing out, and reach all the way around your body until you can touch or grasp the right thigh.  In this way, we begin the twist.
Turn your head to the left and rotate your face, shoulders and torso to the left, twisting as much as possible.  It is important to try to keep both buttocks and the right knee on the floor, and maintain a straight spine.  Here, fully emptying the lungs in normal breathing facilitates the twist.  As you exhale, try to twist around a little farther.  Hold the posture for 20 seconds.

  • Make sure you are not sitting on your heel.  Open up your leg enough to allow your hips to sit level on the mat.
  • When you bring your arm over and across, make sure the hand, knee and the heel are all touching at the same spot.
  • Point the toes of the leg bent on the floor, heel touching the outside of the hip.
  • Before you turn, lift your upper body toward the ceiling, and try to lift the abdomen up and out of the pelvis, so you can twist more of the torso, including the abdomen when you turn.
  • Think: inhale – stretch up, exhale – twist deeper.

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