Many Yoga practitioners find themselves cross-training in a number of athletic activities. Each athletic activity comes with its own set of risks and rewards. Often, the risks involved are the wear and tear on our own bodies from the repetitive nature of many sports. In the sport of tennis, tennis players often strain their elbows, wrists, shoulders, and Achilles’ tendons.
* Seated Spinal Twist
Seated Spinal Twist is a very effective Yoga pose for releasing tension throughout the torso, arms, shoulders, and neck area. It also helps to release tension in the hips and the outside of your thighs. These are areas that often become tight while playing tennis. To practice Seated Spinal Twist: warm-up first with a series of Sun Salutations, and then sit on your Yoga mat in Easy Seat. Seated Spinal Twist is generally practiced towards the end of a Yoga practice as part of a set of seated twists and forward folding postures.
When you are ready to practice Seated Spinal Twist, place the sole of your right foot flush against the inside of your left thigh. Your right hip and right knee should remain in alignment with each other. Next, place your left foot a few inches behind the outside of your right knee. Keep your left foot facing towards the front of your Yoga mat and your left knee pointing directly towards the sky. Next, place your right elbow outside of your left knee with your right hand pointing straight up. Position your left hand a few inches directly behind you on your Yoga mat with your fingers pointing towards the back of the room.
The work in this Yoga pose is to use the leverage of your arms and the movement of your breath to subtly wind and unwind the asana as you inhale and exhale. With each inhale; twist a little deeper by leveraging your right elbow against your left knee. With each exhale; allow the pose to release just an inch or two. Continue practicing Seated Spinal Twist in this way for three to five complete breaths, wringing out and releasing stress and tension throughout your entire torso, shoulders and neck with each inhale and exhale. Repeat the Seated Spinal Twist on the other side.
© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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