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Friday, July 1, 2011

Liberate Your Breathing

Posted By on Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 11:09 AM

With This Simple Spinal Twist

"Freedom is strangely ephemeral.  It is something like breathing; one only becomes acutely aware of its importance when one is choking." ~William E. Simon In celebration of Independence day, I thought I would share this simple yoga posture (because I realize it's a holiday and most of you are relaxing) called Jathara Parivartanasana or, in English, "Knee Down Twist". This practice opens the ribcage for fuller breathing, while creating space in the spine and lubricating the vertebral discs*. Other benefits of this twisting posture are improved digestion and elimination. Happy 4th of July to y'all!

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Alignment

  1. Begin lying on your back. Draw your right knee into your chest, hugging the knee with both arms while lengthening down through your left leg and foot.
  2. Place your left hand on the outside of the right knee, and reach your right arm out to the side with the palm down.
  3. Lower your right knee to the left side of your body, keeping your right shoulder in contact with the floor. Complete the twist by turning the gaze toward your right hand.
  4. Release the posture and repeat on the other side.

Breath and Awareness

  1. Inhale as you hug the knee into the chest, and Exhale as your lower the knee to the side.
  2. Hold the final position for 5-10 full breaths.
  3. As you inhale, imagine the breath spiraling energy up through the body from the left foot all the way to the crown of the head.
  4. As you exhale, let go of any tension in the body and relax deeper into the posture.
*If you suffer from a spinal disc injury, see a qualified yoga teacher for appropriate modifications to this posture. Sign up for Debby’s newsletter here to stay informed about her local classes and workshops.
Photography by Sparrow.

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