- Sit on your mat
- Bend your left knee, as in cross-legged position
- Place your right foot on the outside of the left knee
- Place your right hand behind your back on the floor
- Raise your arms up and lengthen the spine
- Take your left arm forward, on the outside of the right knee
- Grab your right ankle
- Twist your spine by turning to the ride side
- Stay for 5 - 10 breaths
- Repeat on the other side
Start by sitting down on your mat. Bend your left knee, as though you are going to sit cross legged, with the knee in the centre. Then take your right leg and bring it around the left, placing the right foot just next to the left knee. The right knee is pointing upward. Take your right hand behind your back and place it flat on the floor, close to the buttocks. Keep the right arm straight. Lift your left arm up, and then bring it forward so that it comes on the right side of the right knee. Extend it out further and grab hold of the foot. Inhale deeply and exhale twist your spine, looking over your right shoulder behind you. Ensure that the spine stays straight, by lengthening it upward continuously. With every exhalation, twist a little further to the right side. Stay here for five to ten deep breaths and then come back to centre. Unfold the legs and reposition them in the opposite way, to twist on the left side.
If you have tight hips you can sit on a folded blanket or block. The raised hips will assist in the post and reduce pressure on the joints. It will allow you to sit more comfortably. If your arms are too short to reach the foot, you can also fold your left arm around the right knee and pull it inward. As an advanced variation, you can do a bind with the hands. This is done by bringing the left arm though the two legs; in the space underneath the right leg and above the left leg. Bring the arm all the way through. Meanwhile, bring the right arm behind the back and then find contact with the left hand. Grasp the fingers and then twist to the right side.
One of the benefits of this posture is that it energises the spine and brings rejuvenation. It encourages the release of synovial fluids, which keep the bones lubricated. By massaging the internal organs, especially the liver, kidneys and stomach, it works as a detoxifying pose. Further, it opens the chest by drawing the shoulder back, and stretches the hips.
The contra indications are back injuries. Be gentle in your twist if you have recently injured your back.
- Rejuvenates the spine
- Stretches the Chest
- Detoxifies the body
- Back injury
- Concentric contraction of spinal extensors
- Engages rhomboids
- Lengthening of the piriformis