January 23, 2013

Visual Yoga Blog: The 3-Minute Better Spinal Twist.

So how exciting can a spinal twist be?

Yawn, right?

But a twist on the ol’ twist can make you feel like you’re being introduced to your spine again. Spine, meet you. You, meet a happier spine.

You need a strap or a belt for this, a place to sit, and three minutes. So little to ask, so much to get!

1. Sit and bend your knees.

2. Put the strap around the arches of your feet and cross the strap over to your left hip.

3. Wrap your right arm around your back to grab the strap (near your left hip).

4. The other hand goes on the strap, too—close to your feet. So far so good, right?

5. For the actual pose, straighten your legs and let that motion draw you into the twist. The picture makes it self-explanatory. Sit upright and stay for a minute or for six s-l-o-w breaths.

6. Repeat on the other side: Bent knees, strap crosses to your right hip, left arm wraps around the back to grab the strap off your right hip, straighten your legs. Let your spine breathe.

And hey, if this feels so good that you want to spend two or three minutes on each side, go right ahead.

Benefits: A nice, gentle, everybody-can-do-this back stretch that’s easier than other more traditional twists.

Avoid if: Well… this pose is pretty safe. If your shoulders or hips start hurting in this pose, slack off on the strap till neither shoulder nor hips hurt.

Final thoughts: If—after trying the “Better Spinal Twist”—your ego chimes in with, “Dude, I can do poses much harder than this!” be sure to hear your back reply, “Which is why I’m tight and desperate for a nice, gentle twist!”

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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger

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