Yoga students Sarah Myhre, left, and Leslie Ashburn show Bharadvajasana 1, Stage 1.
(Pose Dedicated to a Sage) » This sitting twist relieves lower back pain and increases the spine’s suppleness. Regular practice helps tone the kidneys and increases the range of movement in the shoulders. Here, we present the first stage of the pose. People who are unable to sit on the floor can do the chair twists we have shown in earlier exercises.
1. Sit on the floor with the legs straight (dandasana).
2. Fold your legs to the left with the front of your left ankle resting in the arch of the right foot.
3. Keep your knees close to each other and sit the left buttock on the right heel. If your pelvis tilts down to the right, raise the right buttock on a folded blanket or two. The pelvis should be level.
4. Keeping your buttocks down, lift your trunk as you inhale, then exhale and turn to the right. Hold your right knee with your left hand and take the right hand onto the floor behind your left buttock.
5. Use your arms to help you turn your trunk to the right. Use the breath. As you inhale, lift your trunk, exhale and turn. Keep your chest open and your shoulder blades down and into the back. Gaze over your right shoulder. Stay for up to a minute then return to the center. Straighten your legs and repeat to the other side, reversing the directions.
Ray Madigan and Shelley Choy are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors, and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor’s approval before commencing this yoga practice.