February

If your breath is unrestrained and you feel as though you can deepen the twist further, exhale and stretch your right arm straight back, rotating your skull to gaze over your right shoulder at your hand. But remember, ifyour upper back is tight and feels stuck, you may be tempted to initiate the twist from your head and compress your neck. You may also unconsciously swing your upper body laterally, moving your head and shoulders to the outside of your leg. Sidebending like this creates poor alignment and can make the twist unsafe. Avoid these common mistakes by keeping your gaze on your right foot until the last breath or two in the pose, then gently turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Keeping an image of the spine spinning on its axis will also help.

Open your chest by actively expanding its core to create a dynamic sense of space that both deepens the twist and wrings out tension from the upper back. Hold for about five breaths, then exhale to release the twist. Fold forward into the classic forward-bend version ofJanu Sirsanana for a minute before switching sides.

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