by Sally Drake
This seated twist is perfect as part of a recovery cool down or stretch. The pose builds strength and flexibility in the spine, opens the shoulders and chest, and is a nice stretch for the outer hips and thighs.
How To Practice: From a seated position with both legs extended down the mat, bend the right knee, draw it close to the chest, and step the right foot over the left thigh with the sole of the foot planted on the mat. Keep the left leg active by flexing the foot. Sweep the arms over head and twist the torso to the right, wrapping your left arm around your right thigh (option to place elbow against the knee as the palm of the hand faces the right). Walk the right fingers behind the right thigh as you continue to twist through the torso and bring the gaze behind your right shoulder.
Hold the pose for several rounds of breath. Be sure to do the pose on both the right and left sides.
Variation Shown in Picture 2: Keep the left leg extended (shown on image one); or bend the left knee and bring the heel of the foot toward the right thigh. Keep the left hip rooted toward the mat.
Tips: Keep length in your spine; think about energy reaching up and out the crown of the head. Use your inhales to create more length, and exhales to deepen your twist as feels comfortable for you.
Sally Drake has been a runner in the Capital District community for over twenty years and is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher. Join her Monday mornings at 6:30 a.m. for a Flow and Let Go Yoga flow at The Hot Yoga Spot in Albany – a perfect class to recover from weekend-long runs or races. Follow her on instagram@sdrakeyogi for schedule updates.