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Your spine twists all the time: When you reach into the back seat of your car, pass the potatoes at dinner, or simply walk across the room, your spine rotates. It’s easy to take that movement for granted—until back spasms or a crick in your neck bring it to a painful halt. Fortunately, twisting yoga poses can help maintain or even enhance your ability to rotate your spine. To keep your body twisting and turning with ease, try this Simple Reclining Twist from teacher Barbara Benagh:
Simple Reclining Twist
- Take a minute to recline on your back and relax your muscles, breath, and mind. Extend your arms along the floor at shoulder level. Keeping your shoulders on the mat, exhale and let your knees fall to your right, taking your hips and lower torso with them. Notice how your shoulders stay on the floor while the movement of your hips and legs rotates the spine, much like turning a corkscrew. Try to consciously release any stiffness you feel in your back muscles by allowing your spine to settle into the floor.
- Next, bring your attention to your breath. Twists squeeze the diaphragm, which can make your breath feel strained.Use each inhalation to create space in your abdomen and each exhalation to coax your muscles to adapt to the twist.Stay for another minute. Then bring your legs back to center and switch sides.