Extended legs supine twist Jathara parivritti

If you enjoy practicing the Swiss army knife (see the preceding section), you're likely to enjoy this slightly more demanding exercise. This variation of jathara parivritti gives you the same benefits as the Swiss army knife but creates an even more pronounced stretch of the lower back and hips. And, of course, stretching is good for your muscles and your spine. The following steps show you how it works:

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor at hip width and extend your arms out from your sides like a T in line with the top of your shoulders with palms down.

2. Bend your knees and draw both your thighs into your abdomen.

3. As you exhale, slowly lower your bent legs to the right side.

4. Extend both legs out a comfortable distance and then turn your head to the left as Figure 12-6 illustrates.

Keep your head on the floor. If this posture is difficult, try bending both legs a little more.

Figure 12-6:

Keep your head on the floor as you turn it and extend your legs.

5. Follow Steps 1 through 4 and then relax and stay in Step 4 for 6 to 8 breaths.

6. Repeat Steps 1 through 5 on the opposite side.

Note: In the classic (traditionally taught) version of this posture, the knees are straight and the joined legs are resting on the floor. The arms are straight and extended to the sides at right angles to the torso. The hand on the same side of the extended legs holds the top foot.

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Unite Mind Body Spirit With Yoga

Unite Mind Body Spirit With Yoga

Practitioners of yoga talk about a unification of body, mind and spirit acquired through practicing the yoga exercises and techniques. Learn more within this guide.

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