(Reclining Revolved Eagle Pose)
The basic shape of this pose is similar to Simple Reclining Twist, but the way you enter the twist makes it different. In Simple Reclining Twist, your shoulders stay fixed as your pelvis rotates around the spine. In this pose, it's just the opposite: The left knee on the floor keeps the pelvis fixed while your left arm reaches toward the left to create spinal rotation.
Begin again in constructive rest. Shift your hips a few inches to the left before crossing your legs as in Eagle Pose, left thigh over right. If you can hook your foot behind your right leg, do so, but don't worry if you can't. Draw your knees toward your chest and, exhaling, turn onto your right side, pinning your left knee to the floor. If this creates pain in your knees or lower back, modify your position by unhooking the left foot and elevating the left knee on a block or blanket.
With your left knee on the floor or on a block, reach toward the ceiling with your left arm. Exhale as you slowly lower your left arm to the floor, placing your hand in line with your shoulder. Keep your pelvis fixed, and this time feel how the shoulders create the torque, like a corkscrew.
Your body may twist easily, letting you bring your shoulder to the mat, or you may barely turn. Take your time and keep your left arm active, even if it's hovering above the floor. Be curious and patient with the process. If your knee moves up, away from the floor or block, or your breathing becomes labored, it means that you're rushing the pose and inviting strain. Whether you get your shoulder to the floor is unimportant; this is a strong twist regardless.
Once your upper back is at its maximum, turn your head toward the left, but be mindful. The neck, or cervical spine, is the most flexible part of the spine. Ifyour upper back is tight, you might try to over-compensate for it by turning your neck more extremely. That's why it's important
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to wait until your thoracic rotation is at its maximum before turning your head.
With your pelvis stabilized in this pose, you may feel much more of the turn coming from your upper back. That's because keeping your pelvis fixed limits the rotation in your lower spine. If you tend to be a flexible person, this is a good thing. It's relatively easy for flexible people to overdo it and stretch the lumbar joints beyond their natural capacity without even knowing it, which can eventually strain the lower back.
Stay in the pose for about a minute. If you feel as though your body naturally wants to go deeper, exhale and move your left shoulder toward the floor. Notice how this action turns your chest while leaving the lumbar region undisturbed. A more subtle way to do this is to visualize each thoracic vertebra spinning, like a bead on a string, into the rotation.
Stay in the twist for another minute, then change the cross of your legs and twist to the other side.
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