Easy Spinal Twist is, as the name implies, an "easier" pose than Seated Spinal Twist, because your child is lying on the mat rather than sitting in a cross-legged position (Figure 2.46). This pose is still very effective for releasing the spine, massaging the organs, and releasing tension from the body. Your child may feel tightness in the pose at the beginning, because the pose involves twisting the spine in an unfamiliar movement but, with practice, he may welcome the tension release associated with this pose.
Many children with ASDs enjoy this pose. Initially they do not realize that this is another twisting position. Some children say that their arms outstretched "feels really good." They are often glad that they get to lie down on the mat. We suggest that you tell your child that he is near the end of the practice and how open and stress-free his body should feel. It is important that he realizes that anxiety and tension are not constant physical and emotion feelings that he must endure. Part of the importance of yoga is teaching your child to relieve his own pain, tension, and stress.
1. Lie on the mat on your back with your arms by your sides and your body relaxed.
2. Extend your arms out to the sides so they are straight out from the shoulders. Your arms will form the letter "T" with your torso.
3. Slowly bend the right leg and place the sole ofyour foot on your left knee.
4. Make sure that your shoulders stay as close to the floor as possible. Slowly move the bent right leg to the left. Your body will want to fall over the left side, but try to keep your shoulders on the floor.
5. Keep your left leg as straight as possible. Additionally, keep the left foot flexed, if possible, and the leg pressing into the floor. This way the body feels grounded, even though it is twisting.
6. Move your head to the left, so that your left cheek is resting on the floor.
7. Take three deep breaths into the pose. Try to release any tight spots in your body or tension you may feel by inhaling deeply. Imagine the breath going into the tight area, and then release tension upon exhalation.
8. Slowly bring your knee upright and then release your legs and stretch them out for a moment.
9. Repeat the position on your left side.
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