To do Thread the Needle Pose: Come to the floor on the hands and knees. Pad the knees with a folded towel, blanket or yoga mat. Bring the palms directly under the shoulders and the knees under the hips. Spread the fingers wide and gaze down in between the palms. Take a moment and take a couple slow breaths and feel the spine extended. On an inhale breath, lift the left arm up towards the ceiling and extend length through the fingers. Feel the chest and collarbones spread apart. Stay there another moment and breathe.
On an exhale, thread the needle under the right armpit and rest the left shoulder and/or ear to the floor. Twist only as far as you are comfortable. Feel the gentle twist of the spine and release in the low back. Stay here for 3-5 full rounds of breath, slowing and smoothing out the texture of the breath. Close the eyes, allowing the body and mind to calm. Notice the hips are still facing downward, towards the ground. Option to go a little deeper, and in order to create more opening into the right shoulder, by wrapping the right arm behind the back and resting the palm on the low back or hip.
To come out of the pose: slowly unwind the “thread” by pressing the right palm into the earth to lift the torso and bring the left arm back to neutral position. Repeat the pose on the other side.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, In Rhythms Yoga
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