3 Spinal Stretches & Twisting Poses
These poses are often taught to people with hip or back stiffness, sacroiliac imbalances, degenerative disks, arthritis, or sciatica. Perform each pose for five breaths on each side.
1. Simple Chair Twist
Sit sideways on a chair with your right hip facing the chair back and a block between your thighs. The chair will stabilize the lower back, pelvis, and legs, allowing you to safely rotate your upper spine. Place the hands on the chair back as you inhale and lift the spine. Exhale and twist, pulling with the left hand and pushing with the right. Allow the head and neck to follow the twist of the spine.
2. Revolved Triangle with chair
Place a chair in front of you and put your right foot between its front legs. Step your left foot back about 4 feet and turn it in 80 degrees. Place your hands on your hips and square them. Inhale, lift your torso, exhale, and fold forward, placing your left hand on the chair seat, in line with your right big toe. Place your right hand on your sacrum and twist to the right, bringing the right shoulder toward the ceiling and the left ribs forward. To go deeper, place the left elbow on the chair and raise the right arm.
3. Marichyasana III (Marichi’s Twist III), with chair
With or without a block, put your right foot on the block/chair with the toes facing forward. Place your left hand on your right knee and your right palm on your sacrum. Inhale and lift the spine, then exhale and twist to the right, allowing your neck and head to follow. Keep the hips even and twist from the upper spine. Press the right hand into the back waist to turn the torso more deeply.
For pictures of the poses and more twists, reference: