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Reclining-Spinal-Twist

Reclining Spinal Twist

  1. Begin by lying on your back in Savasana.
    1. Lie flat on your back with legs about hip width apart
    2. Arms at side, slightly away from body, palms up
    3. Draw shoulder blades close together
    4. Breath through abdomen
  1. Bring both arms out to 90˚ from your torso (T-position), stretching your arms in opposite directions with fingers splayed, and your palms facing the ceiling.  As you reach your hands and arms apart, draw your shoulder blades together (gently squeeze your shoulder blades together), so that they lie flat on the mat.
  1. Bring your feet together with your toes pointing to the ceiling, then slide them up toward your buttocks until the feet are flat on the mat.
  1. Inhale deeply, tilting your pelvis forward (arch low back) and pressing your tailbone into the mat, then as you exhale, tilt your pelvis backward (flatten low back), pressing your sacrum and lumbar spine into the mat.  Repeat for 2 or 3 cycles of breath.
  1. After your next inhalation, exhale as you roll your bent legs and pelvis to the left, keeping your feet and knees together.  At the same time, slowly turn your head over your right shoulder, keeping your right shoulder blade in contact with the floor.  (Keep both shoulder blades flat on the floor.)
  1. Breathe normally, extending the spine from your tailbone up through the crown of your head on inhalation.  Deepen into the posture on exhalation by bringing your legs closer to the floor.
  1. Keep your low back relaxed.  Hold for as many cycles of breath as you are able.
  1. Come out of the posture on an inhalation, bringing your bent legs straight up (knees to the ceiling), and your head to face the ceiling.
  1. Repeat on the other side, rolling your legs to the right, while turning your head to the left.
  1. Return to Savasana.

Benefits:

1.  Stretches, strengthens and tones all eight abdominal muscles.

2.  Eases spinal tension, by alternately contracting, and stretching the muscles of the spine.

3.  May help to restore spinal motion.

4.  Tones the posterior shoulder-girdle muscles.

5.  Stimulates digestion.

Contraindications:

Should be avoided during any acute low back pain conditions.  Should be modified or avoided as a pregnancy progresses.

Adjustments:

Students will tend to allow the lead leg to drop to the floor even though the lag leg cannot go further.  They should be advised to keep knees and feet together, only lowering the lead leg as they are able to lower both at the same time.   There will also be a tendency for the scapula on the side of head turn to lift away from the mat.  That should be avoided.

Modifications:

The depth of knee flexion can be modified (reduced) to accommodate lack of flexibility.