Yoga in a GIF-y: Parivrtta Sukhasana

Sitting all day at the office? In your car? On the sofa? A little twist can go a long way for the health of your spine.

Parivrtta (revolved) Sukhasana (easy pose) helps lubricate the spine and lengthens the muscles running along the length of your back. This variation also involves a side bend which opens up the left and right side of the waist. If you can’t cross your legs, feel free to modify the pose: sit on the edge of a chair with both feet firmly placed on the floor, hip-width distance apart with your knees directly over your ankles.

It’s important to note that twists in yoga should never feel forced - no yanking of the spine or pulling with your hands. Instead, use the subtle power of your breath (the exhale in particular) to help you move into your twists.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Establish a steady, comfortable sitting position whether your legs are crossed or you have your feet on the floor.

  2. As you inhale, lengthen the spine up towards the ceiling.

  3. Exhale and twist to your right - bring the right hand on the floor or chair behind you and place your left hand (gently) on the right knee.

  4. Stay here for 5 cycles of breath twisting from the pelvis up to the top of your head.

  5. On your fifth exhale, drop your left shoulder onto your left knee and sweep the right arm alongside your right ear.

  6. Stay for 3 cycles of breath twisting the belly up towards the ceiling.

  7. As you release your third exhale come back up into your original, upright position.

  8. Pause in the upright seat for 1 cycle of breath.

  9. Repeat steps 2 to 7 on the opposite side.