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Seated Side Bend

Seated posture that stretches the sides of your body, from hips to fingertips.
 

Seated Side Bend stretches the sides of your body, from your hips to your fingertips.
 
While performing Seated Side Bend, remember that it is more important to lengthen through your body than it is to stretch as far as possible to the side. Make sure you do not compress the side of your body that you are leaning toward. You should also keep the shoulder of your raised arm back slightly to help open the front of your body.
 
As you stretch to the side in Seated Side Bend, you should try to keep both hips on the floor. If one hip lifts off the floor as you move into the stretch, try to encourage your hip to move back down to the floor.
 
If you want to warm up the sides of your body before holding the pose, you can stretch to the side as described below three times and then hold the pose.
 
Use caution performing this pose if you have problems with your knees, hips or shoulders.
 
Steps:
Begin in Easy Pose.
Relax your shoulders down and back as you lift and expand your chest.
Place your right palm on the floor beside your right hip with your fingers pointing to the side.
Inhale as you raise your left arm overhead with your palm facing in.
Exhale as you stretch to the right, allowing your right hand to slide to the right along the floor.
Press both sitting bones toward the floor and extend through the crown of your head to lengthen your spine.
Feel the left side of your body lengthening from your hip to your fingertips.
Turn your head to look past your left elbow.
Hold the pose for 5 to 30 seconds.
To come out of the pose, inhale and lift your torso and left arm upright. Then exhale and lower your left arm to return to Easy Pose.
Repeat steps 2 to 10 for your other side.
 
My knees are uncomfortable in this pose. What can I do?
If you have discomfort in your knees or if your hips are stiff, you can sit on the edge of one or two folded blankets. This modification allows you to sit more comfortably and reduces strain on your hips and knees as you perform this pose.
 
How can I relieve the pressure on my feet in this pose?
If your feet are sore, you can place a folded towel or blanket under your feet to help relieve the pressure.
 
What can I do if I'm not comfortable sitting on the floor?
You can perform this pose while sitting in an armless chair. Rest one hand in your lap as you stretch your other arm overhead and to the side, as described in the steps.
 
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