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Thread the Needle Pose

Table posture that is useful for stretching your neck and arms.
 

Thread the Needle Pose is an asymmetrical pose that stretches your shoulders and upper back. This pose is also useful for stretching your neck and arms. You may find performing this pose gives you a feeling of contentment when you are upset or distressed.
 
This pose is called Thread the Needle Pose because you thread one arm under the other. By threading one arm under your other arm and resting your shoulder and ear on the floor, this pose provides a gentle twist to your spine.
 
You can practice Thread the Needle Pose to prepare for performing inverted poses, such as Shoulder-Stand and Plow Pose.
 
If you feel pressure on your knees in this pose, you can place a folded towel or blanket under your knees to make the pose more comfortable. Make sure you use caution performing this pose if you have problems with your neck, shoulders or knees.
 
Steps:
Begin in Table Pose.
Place your right hand under your body, with your palm facing up.
Exhale as you slide your right arm further under your body.
(Your right hand should extend past the left side of your body, between your left hand and left knee.)
Lower your right shoulder and right ear to the floor.
(Make sure you keep your left arm relaxed as you rest your right arm and hand on the floor.)
Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
To come out of the pose, press your left hand into the floor to lift your body up. Then return to Table Pose.
Repeat steps 2 to 6 for your other side.
 
What should I do if my shoulder and ear do not reach the floor in this pose?
You can place a folded towel or blanket under your shoulder and head for support if you cannot reach your shoulder and ear to the floor. This modification is also useful if your shoulder and ear are uncomfortable on the floor.
 
How can I deepen Thread the Needle Pose?
Perform the pose as described in the steps above, except after holding the pose, inhale and stretch your left arm up toward the ceiling. Stretching your arm up helps to open your chest. You can also deepen the pose by extending your left leg on a diagonal to the side with the sole of your left foot on the floor. Then stretch your left arm up toward the ceiling. Repeat these modifications for your other side.
 
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