Visual Yoga Blog: The Knuckle Spine Release

Via Ricardo das Neves
on Feb 27, 2013
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010 knuckles

The knuckle spine release is not to be confused with that time back in ninth grade when your brutish cousin hit you in the back.

Instead, think of it as a yogi lying down on a bed of nails, except you’re not lying on a bed, it’s not made of nails, and your knuckles stand in for a hard bump in the mattress.

The Pose:

1. Place your fists on either side of your spine and as high up your back as you can.

2. Lie on your back with your hands in this position and use your body weight to sink into your fists.

3. Let the muscles lining the spine soften against your knuckles. Stay for 10-30 seconds, breathing slowly.


Great release of shoulder and back tightness, plus helps to increase shoulder range of motion.

Avoid If:

If you can’t get your arms comfortably in this position, skip it altogether. After all, when lying down on your fists, you should be able to relax completely.

Final Thoughts:

Yes, it looks a little weird to be lying on the floor looking like a bug that landed on its back and can’t get up, but if you do this on top of your yoga mat, your kids or your sweetheart will walk by you, ignoring you.

Your cat, on the other hand, might climb on you.



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Ed: Bryonie Wise



About Ricardo das Neves

Ricardo das Neves is the author of Unenlightened: Confessions of an Irreverent Yoga Teacher, and is occasionally known to tweet (@spirithumor). See more VISUAL YOGA BLOGS here. When he’s not trying to be funny, he acts very serious teaching yoga classes in and around Seattle. Subscribe to future VISUAL YOGA BLOGS here. Connect with him on Google+


2 Responses to “Visual Yoga Blog: The Knuckle Spine Release”

  1. Robyn says:

    Ooh. Good idea. I like to do this standing up and just dig them around. It really loosens up all the tension. I actually was having horrible lower back pain for months before I realized the source was higher up in these muscles and the knuckle-digging commenced. I'm going to try it on the floor when I get home, seeing as how the floors at work haven't been cleaned in like 10 years.

  2. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!