- Lie on your back and bend your knees, placing your feet flat on the floor, feet and knees together. Have your arms at your sides, palms down.
- Interlock your fingers and place your hands behind your head. To begin, press your lower back toward the floor as you bring your knees toward your chest. Throughout the rest of this exercise, keep your abdomen contracted and your knees together.
- First inhale, then exhale as you slowly lower your legs to the left, pivoting from the waist. You can either press your left elbow into the floor or let it lift slightly. Now inhale as you bring your legs back to center, then exhale as you repeat the twist to the right.
- Twist 6 to 12 times in each direction, rocking your legs from side to side.
- To conclude, come back to center and lower your feet to the floor. Extend your legs. Lower your arms to your sides and rest.
Choose one or more of the following:
- If you find it difficult to move both legs together in steps 3 and 4, lower your left leg first, then the right. Then, when coming back to center, raise your right leg first, then the left.
- Instead of placing your hands behind your head, extend your arms out to the sides, palms up or down.
The last time you lower your legs to either side, hold the pose for as long as comfortable, relaxing into the stretch. When coming back to center, separate your knees and lift one leg at a time.
- This pose provides a way to massage the lower back, please try according to the instruction, hints, and different ways to practice this pose, find the version best for you.
- If your lower back is not very strong, doing the Easier Options will not only feel better for your back, but will also gradually strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.
- Keeping both elbows pressed into the floor as you twist from side to side will increase the stretch across your chest and in your back.
- While lowering your legs to one side, pressing the opposite elbow down may increase the stretch across your chest and the twist in your upper back. On the other hand, allowing the opposite elbow to lift off the floor while pressing your legs down may increase the stretch in your lower back. If your body is very flexible, you can do both: press your elbows and legs down at the same time to increase the stretch.
- Relieves fatigue, helps alleviate discomfort from prolonged sitting
- Loosens the muscles of the lower back and hips
- Helps improve posture by loosening the chest muscles
- Massages the sacrum and lower back
- Strengthens and massages the abdominal muscles and organs
- Helps improve digestion and assimilation; alleviates gas and constipation