Strengthens: Lower back

Stretches: Vertebral column, Hip, Shoulder

Prep poses: Baddha Koṇāsana, Virasana, Vriksasana, Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana II, Supta Padangusthasana

Follow-up poses: Paschimottanasana, Baddha Koṇāsana

Pose type: Seated, Hip opener, Twist

Teaching Steps 

Begin seated on the mat with legs extended in front of you, arms resting at your sides. This is Staff Pose (Dandasana).

Shift weight to right buttock.

Bend knees and bring legs to left.

Rest legs on mat and place left inner ankle in arch of right foot.

Inhale, lengthen spine.

Exhale, twist upper torso to right.

Place right hand on mat behind you.

Rest left hand on outer right thigh.

Turn left palm up.

Press down through left sit bone.

If left hip is lifting off mat, place a folded blanket beneath right sit bone to re-gain balance.

Draw shoulder blades down back and in toward back ribs. There will be a slight backbend in upper back, but don’t force it.

Twist around spine from tailbone to crown of head.

On each inhalation, lengthen spine.

On each exhalation, twist deeper.

Turn head to gaze over right shoulder.

Hold for up to one minute.

To release, exhale and unwind torso.

Come back to centre and extend both legs in front of you in Staff Pose.

Repeat twist for the same length of time on opposite side.

George Watts

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