Yoga Journal

LOWER-BACK LOVE

Source: SOFTEN AND LENGTHEN BELLYLENGTHEN TAILBONE DOWNWARDKEEP PELVIS NEUTRALSOFTEN INNER GROINPRESS THROUGH INNER FOOTPRESS THROUGH HEEL

The sitting twist Marichyasana III has many important benefits. It tones the belly organs (such as the liver and intestines), helps relieve lower-back stiffness (but only if done properly; otherwise it will increase stiffness), and keeps the intervertebral disks— those little jelly-filled “doughnuts” between your vertebrae—supple.

Like all seated twists, several elements are needed to make the exercise safe. First, even before you begin to twist, it’s essential that your pelvis be in a neutral position so that your spine can fully lengthen. To do this, imagine your whole pelvis as a bowl filled with water: If the bowl of the pelvis tips too far forward or backward, the water will spill. When the pelvis is in a neutral position, the top rim of the bowl will be more or less parallel to the floor, and the imaginary water will stay safely

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