Lori Whitby of Slave Lake Smiling Dog Yoga says this week’s pose will help you ease tension in your body. She says to start sitting with your legs extended in front of you and arms down by your sides.
“Press your hands on the ground as you lengthen your spine and lift your chest up. Sit up very tall to protect your back. Never twist with a rounded back. Bend your left knee and place the bottom of that foot on the ground beside your extended right leg,” Whitby says. Leading with your left shoulder, slowly rotate your torso to the left and place your right hand on your left knee; press your left hand or fingertips onto the floor just behind your left buttock to help lift your upper body slightly up and forward.”
Whitby adds, “Gently turn your head to the left, only as far as it feels comfortable. Stay in the pose for up to 30 seconds to one minute, but come out if you feel compression or pinching in the spine. Release on an exhale; twist to the other side for an equal length of time.”
Stay in the pose from one to two minutes. Use your hands on your thighs to mindfully press up (save your back).
Sit up on a folded blanket or small bolster to help you sit tall and straight. Move the back hand closer to your body to help support your spine and keep it tall.
Try placing the foot of the bent knee beside the ankle of the straight leg when starting to help you get the feel of twisting with a straight spine. You can gradually slide that foot towards you as you get more confident in the pose as long as it doesn’t cause you to round your back.
Nourishes the discs of the spine when done safely. Relaxes and focuses the mind, releasing mental tensions. Gently massages the digestive tract and internal organs.
If you have had recent back surgery or have back pain please use caution.