January 16, 2013

Visual Yoga Blog: 5 Steps to the Standing Knotted Spinal Twist.

This one falls into the category of “things to do when you’re bored at a cocktail party.”

Or maybe not. Since the trick to achieving most yoga poses is the technique for getting into them, here’s the technique in five steps (you may need a strap or a belt for this):

1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, and fold forward.

2. Reach your right arm between the knees and wrap your right elbow and forearm around the back of your right leg

3. Bring your right hand to slightly outside your right leg or right hip. (Not the crack of the butt, please… that doesn’t look pretty.)

4. Take your left arm around the back and clasp the hands. (If your hands are nowhere near each other, you may need a belt or a strap to help you here. If so, let the belt/strap hang from your left hand, then grab it with your right hand.)

5. Without letting go of the hands (or belt), straighten your legs. This will draw your left shoulder forward, which is what we want: making your back revolve and lengthen. Stay about 10 seconds, breathing slowly, and feel the spine elongate.

That’s it! Standing knotted spinal twist accomplished!

Release, and repeat on your left side. After a few times you’ll have a quick, thorough release to shoulder and back tension.

Benefits: Fantastic and effective way to release tight shoulders, stretch the hamstrings, and reset the back.

Avoid if: You experience any discomfort whatsoever through your knees, the shoulder on the threaded-through arm or your back. Easy does it—if it doesn’t, back off the intensity until the pose feels easy again.

Final Thoughts: I was kidding about doing this at a cocktail party. But if it suddenly strikes you as a good idea, you may have exceeded your cocktail allowance and need to look for a designated driver…

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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

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