If you have trouble bringing your knees together …
Try placing a block on its narrow setting between your knees.
This will provide stability to your low back and sacrum. Situate the block before you twist; as you revolve, squeeze the prop, especially with your upper leg. This action enables a deeper rotation in your low back. As with the standard pose, with each exhale remember to spin your belly away from your knees.
Draw your knees into your chest; loop a belt over your shins and high around your back. Place the buckle near your knees so that once in the twist, you can cinch the belt. To make the pose more rejuvenating, place a prop under your lower knee. In this “hanging twist,” note the ease and space in your belly and low back, and how it lets you breathe more deeply. Stay 3 minutes on each side.
If your low back feels compressed or you need further traction …
Try placing a bolster or 12- to 16-inch stack of blankets under your hips.
Draw your knees into your chest and set your pelvis to the bolster’s far side. As you twist, stack your hips and keep your knees on the bolster. Feel how your lower spine drapes toward the floor, enabling the paraspinal musculature to release. Draw in your low-back muscles to make your spine suppler and to prep for Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose).
About Our Pro Tias Little is the founder of Prajna Yoga (prajnayoga.net) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the author of three books, includingYoga of the Subtle Body. His teachings interweave various disciplines, including meditative arts, classical yoga, and Buddhist studies.