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Posted by on Jan 19, 2017

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Twenty. Reclining Spinal Twist.

21-Day Back to the Mat Challenge: Day Twenty. Reclining Spinal Twist.

Welcome to Day Twenty. Reclining Spinal Twist. Supta Matsyendrasana.

Twists feel amazing. They ease back pain, aid digestion, relieve tension, and increase feelings of calm. (Please note: if you have osteoporosis, consult your healthcare giver before engaging in deep twists.)

Enjoy Days 1-19 of our challenge, before hugging your knees into your chest and moving back into Savasana, take a Reclining Spinal Twist (on each side) in this way:

  • Take a full, long stretch, reaching your arms over your head, pointing your toes
  • Inhale, bend your knees and bring the soles of both feet to the mat
  • Exhale, drop both knees over to the floor on your right side (if your knees don’t reach all the way to the floor, stick a pillow under them and relax them into it)
  • Keeping your neck long, take your gaze over your left shoulder
  • Breathe and find as much length as possible between your left hip and your left shoulder (if your left shoulder lifts up in this twist, use a prop or a pillow under your shoulder to make it more comfortable)
  • On each inhale, find a little more space between your ribs (in your intercostal muscles)
  • To accentuate the twist, place your right hand on your left knee and press down
  • After several breaths, inhale both knees back up to center
  • Exhale, drop your knees to the other side

Here is today’s complete practice:

  • Take a comfortable seat
  • Close your eyes, Bring your attention inward
  • Inhale, lengthen the spine, Exhale, keep that length
  • Notice deeply
  • Continue in this way for 10 or 20 breaths
  • Open your eyes and move to a kneeling position (sit back on your heels)
  • Perform Kapalabhati for 20-50 breaths, Repeat (as you like)
  • Come to Child’s pose, enjoy the effects of Kapalabhati
  • Come up to Table, then move with breath:  Table > Down Dog > Table > Child’s Pose…
    Repeat Five times (or as many or few times as you like)
  • Balancing Table (both sides)
  • Lower arm/leg back to Table
  • Exhale as you Push back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Inhale, Step forward to Standing Forward Fold
  • Exhale here
  • Inhale up to Tadasana, Mountain Pose
  • Sun Salutation (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Close your eyes, bring your hands together in Prayer Pose, Anjali Mudra, at the center of your chest
  • Breathe
  • Uttanasana, Standing Forward Fold
  • Sun Breaths
  • Step back to Downward Facing Dog
  • Lunge (right foot back)
  • Runner’s Stretch over left leg
  • Lunge (left foot back)
  • Runner’s Stretch right leg
  • Step back to Downward-Facing Dog
  • Lower down to Child’s Pose
  • Step to Tadasana at the front of your mat
  • Vira II (both sides)
  • Tadasana
  • Pyramid (both sides)
  • Step back to Tadasana
  • Revolved Twist (both sides)
  • Step back to Downward-Facing Dog
  • Lower down to Dandasana
  • Release into Sukhasana
  • Twist
  • Come back to Sukhasana for a few breaths
  • Supta Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (both sides)
  • Reclined Spinal Twist (both sides)
  • Balance your body by hugging both knees into your chest for a few breaths
  • Lie back into Savasana