Thursday, 24 May 2012

Parsva Sukhasana (Seated Crossed-Legs Twist)

This is a nice simple twist.  First, start by sitting cross-legged on the floor.  Many of us need to sit on some height.  Your knees should not be above the top of your hip bone.  In a Iyengar Yoga class we have foam blocks to sit on so the height required can be added on.  I can sit down on the floor now but still like the comfort of a folded cotton blanket.  Folded blanket or towels can be used at home.  Now that you are seated, relax, and let your body adjust.  Sometimes my hips ache a bit and need a few moments to appreciate the gentle stretch of this position.  Inhale and sit tall without popping your ribs too far forward.  Exhale and slowly turn your body to the right.  You are trying to achieve a spiral effect from the lower left hip to the right shoulder.  Try to bring your left hand to your right knee and place your right hand on the floor slightly behind you for support.  If you are on a height, you may need something to rest your hand on.  Inhale, sit tall; exhale, gently deepen twist action.  Gently turn head but to not crank it around.  Turn from you torso not your shoulders.  Do not force the pose.  Hold for about 20 seconds (10 full breaths) and release forward.  Change the cross of your legs and repeat to the left.

If you cannot sit on the floor, this can be done from a chair.  Sit on the chair sideways so the back of the chair is on your right.  Feet flat on floor.  The actions of the body are the same turning yourself towards the back of the chair.  Take hold of the chair back for support.  Make sure you are turning from your torso, not your shoulders.  After you have completed the right side, turn yourself on the chair so chair back is on your left side and repeat actions to the left.  Again, do not force the pose.  It takes time for body parts to loosen so be patient.  We always joke in class we are on the 20 year plan.

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