Extend right leg upward to 90 degree angle with left leg flat on your mat. Arms can be on the leg or extended away from the body, palms down. Exhale into the twist, bringing the right leg down to the right. Complete the twist by turning the head away from the extended leg. Inhale, lifting the leg back up, stabalize and repeat x4 on each side. On the last repetition stay in the twist for 4-5 full breaths on each side. This may also be pratciced with a strap.
Benefits: Stretches IT band (great for runners), stretches abdominal muscles and massages abdominal organs. Breathing with the movement is calming and good for focussing the mind.
Standing forward straddle with twist
Abdominal twist (jathara parivrtti)
Stand in 5 pointed star position, feet parallel, wide stance, arms out.
Exhale- bring left hand to floor, twist right, bring right arm up. Look up toward the raised hand.
Inhale- Lift chest up, arms back out to sides as you come back to standing
Allow a small bend in knees as necessary
Repeat x4, alternating sides, then stay in twisted position on each side for 4 breaths each side
Practice breath-hold after exhalation for 2 seconds then 4 seconds when staying in twisted positions
Sun Salutation Series
1) mountain pose, palms joined
2) standing backward bend
3) standing forward bend
4) kneeling warrior 1 (Left leg forward)
5) plank pose
6) four limbed staff pose
8) downward facing dog
9) kneeling warrior 1 (right leg forward)
10) standing forward bend
11) standing backward bend
12) mountain pose, palms joined