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Strike a Yoga Pose: 1-Legged Seated Spinal Twist

Spinal twists feel incredible on your back. They help to lengthen your spine, and in doing so improve your posture and help you breathe more deeply. This pose is a great beginning yoga twist.

Sanskrit Name: Marichyasana C
English Translation: A Pose dedicated to Marichi (a great sage and son of Brahma)
Also Called: 1-Legged Seated Spinal Twist

  • Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can. There should be at least 8-10 inches between your right foot and left inner thigh.
  • Reach your right arm behind you and plant your palm on the floor. Press your right hand on the floor behind you to help lengthen your spine. Place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee to help you twist.
  • Stay here or work on binding around your knee. Do this by wrapping your left arm around your right knee. Take your right around around your lower back and work on grasping your left hand or if you can reach, hold the left wrist. If that's easy, wrap your right fingers around the front of your left leg.
  • Stay here for five or more breaths, opening through your heart, and working on drawing your right shoulder back. Use each inhale to lengthen the spine and each exhale to rotate further. If you're finding it hard to breathe deeply, release the bind, and bring your right hand back behind you.
  • When you're done, take a counter pose by slowly twisting your body to the left for a breath and then switch sides.
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