Sit upright with legs extended in front of you (Dandasana). Exhale to bend the knees and draw the knees into the chest so that you place the soles of the feet where the knees were.
With the knees together and feet together, press the soles of the feet down into the earth as you inhale and as you exhale wrap the right arm around the tops of the shins/knees and hug the legs as you begin to twist to the left.
Inhale and elevate the left arm and as you exhale place the left hand on the floor behind to act as a support and lift the spine, elevate through the crown of the head as you deepen the twist and take the gaze across the left shoulder. You may choose to hold this teepee twist, or move into the variation to deepen the twist (as pictured).
Continue to engage the thighs, and release the right arm upwards as you inhale extending the elbow, as you exhale reach the right upper arm to the side of the left thigh so that the direction of the right arm follows the direction of the legs and the fingers point to the earth.
Press into the left thigh with the upper right arm as the thighs and feet stay active in the midline of the body. Hold for 5-10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Keep the right arm wrapped around the knees for a more gentle twist, particularly if there is a history of spine or neck injuries. You can use a block/support under the left hand to elevate the spine if you are collapsing back into the back arm too much.
This yoga pose stretches and mobilizes the shoulders, hips, and neck, it stimulates the liver and kidneys and stomach agni (digestive fire), and it also offers relief from menstrual discomfort, fatigue, sciatica, and backache, not to mention energising the spine.
Be careful doing this yoga pose with spine or neck injuries.
A journalist by trade, Bonnie is the Editor for Spabreaks.com. Keen to spread the message on accessible wellbeing and a spa experience for all, she thinks green smoothies are somewhat overrated and her favourite spa treatment is an Elemis Couture Technology facial.