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Eagle Twist

Here's a relaxing way to increase side-to-side spinal flexibility.

  • After hugging the knees into the chest, cross your right knee in front of your left knee. Wrap your left toes around the back of your right ankle, just like in Eagle Pose.
  • Extend your arms out in cactus position with your elbows at right angles, palms facing up.
  • Slowly lower both knees to the left. Rest them on the ground, and turn your head to the right.
  • Hold here for at least five breaths, feeling your spine lengthen and twist. You may even hear some "cracks."
  • Use your abs to lift your knees back to center. Uncross your legs and cross them the opposite way, with your left knee on top. Slowly lower both knees to the right, and look over your left shoulder.
  • After five breaths, lift the knees back to center. Uncross the legs, sit up, and work your way back to Downward Facing Dog, repeating this sequence on the left side.
Source: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio