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Chair Twist

Chair posture that increases the flexibility of your spine and back.
 

Chair Twist helps to increase the flexibility of your spine and back, while stretching your shoulders and chest. You can perform this pose to relieve stiffness in your neck, shoulders and upper back. Twisting in this pose also massages your abdominal organs, which helps to improve digestion.
 
When performing the pose, you should use a chair without arms so you can sit sideways on the chair. Make sure your hips are square to the front and your sitting bones remain in contact with the seat of the chair throughout the pose.
 
As you twist in this pose, do not pull on the back of the chair. Only use the chair for support as you twist your spine. You may find it helpful to visualize the twist beginning at the base of your spine, moving up through your spine and continuing through your neck.
 
Use caution performing Chair Twist if you have problems with the discs in your back.
 
Steps:
Begin in Seated Mountain Pose, with the right side of your body facing the chair back.
Hold the sides of the chair back with your hands at approximately shoulder height.
(Make sure your hips and torso are facing forward and your shoulders are relaxed and down.)
Inhale as you press your sitting bones into the seat of the chair and the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
Exhale and twist to the right from the base of your spine.
Inhale as you press your sitting bones into the seat of the chair and the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
Then exhale and twist up through the middle of your spine.
(Make sure you do not pull on the chair back as you twist.)
Inhale as you press your sitting bones into the seat of the chair and the crown of your head toward the ceiling.
Then exhale and twist up through your upper spine.
Turn your head to look over your right shoulder.
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and then return to Seated Mountain Pose.
Repeat steps 1 to 10 for your other side.
 
What can I do to warm up my body and move deeper into the twist?
On each side, perform the twist three times and then hold the pose.
 
Can I perform a variation of Chair Twist that stretches the sides of my body?
Yes. Begin in Seated Mountain Pose. Place your left hand on the outside of your right thigh and extend your right arm above your head. Then twist to the right. Repeat this variation for your other side.
 
Is there another variation of Chair Twist that I can perform?
Yes. Begin in Seated Mountain Pose. Cross your right knee over your left thigh and then place your left hand on the outside of your right knee. Inhale as you lift your chest up to lengthen your spine. Then exhale as you twist your upper body to the right and gaze over your right shoulder. Twist and release your upper body three to five times. Repeat this variation for your other side.
 
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