On the Mat: Summer Intensive Restorative Pose #3

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Who doesn’t love a twist? This restorative twist posture is a favorite request with the NYU Tisch Dance students.

Summer Intensive Restorative Pose #3: Aside from its cozy “tucked in” quality, this prone twist offers spine decompression. Back body expansion in the shoulders and pelvis are added, welcome benefits. The degree of twisting can be determined by the height of the blanket or bolster, as well as a turn of the head to either include or exclude the cervical spine in the rotation.

A restorative twist is excellent to practice at the end of a day of dancing or to initiate the body’s release into a restful quality if you are having trouble falling asleep.

Take your time getting into the pose safely:

Roll up a couple of blankets, set a blanket over two blocks, or use a yoga bolster. Place the padding lengthwise on the mat. Come to sit with one hip to the edge of the bolster. Tuck your legs in bending at the knees. Bring your hands on either side of the bolster, face-forward, and twist the belly to lie down on the bolster. Imagine the length of the bolster supporting your spine. The closer the knees are to you the easier it is to twist. Turn your head away from your knees to intensify the twist or keep the head towards your knees for a gentler twist. Place the arms and hands to either side so that the shoulders can release. Close your eyes and breathe in the pose for several cycles to fully experience the capacity of this pose’s benefits. Make sure you spend a few minutes on one side and then switch to the other in order to get both axial rotation spirals.

– TaraMarie Perri

photo credit: Philippe Teston

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