We are taking it back to the basics in this weeks Art&Om post. Clair demonstrates a seated lateral bend and a seated twist at the beautiful Chairy Orchard.
Begin in a comfortable cross legged position. If you have lotus in your practice, feel free to begin in this pose as well. Maybe even switch the cross of the legs, if you normally have your right foot on top swap it for the left. This helps balance out the two sides of the body.
Bring the hands just outside the hips, and lift up through the crown of the head. Beginning with the right side, lift the right hand up to the sky and the lengthen through the side body as you take a lateral bend to the left. Breath into the side ribs to create more space and length, and use each exhale to open up the chest to the sky. Keeping the pinky finger of the lifted hand on the lower side of the hand, also helps to keep the shoulder blades relaxed down the back.
Hold each side for a few breaths. Remember to stay rooted through the sits bones, and reach up from heart center so that you don't create compression in the lower part of the spine.
Moving into our sweated twist, the pose is a great way to help digestion and detoxify the body. Starting with the left side first. Bring your left hand behind you, resting lightly on the fingertips. The right hand will come to the left knee, the gaze falling behind you. Think of a corkscrew effect with the spine, on an inhale reach up through the crown of the head stacking each vertebra on top of the other, as you exhale completely draw the left shoulder back, wringing out the side body and spine. Ride each wave of breath to take your twist deeper, inhale get tall, exhale to twist.
Repeat on the opposite side, holding each pose for several breaths. Both poses are a great way to warm up the side body and undo the slinky effect that happens to our body throughout the day from sitting and standing.