Gentle Side Bending Pose: By Christine Wushke
This is another great pose to nourish the spinal column, as well as relieve stiffness in your back or shoulders. It is also an excellent preparation pose for seated meditation.
1. Sit in a comfortable cross legged position. (You can also practice this pose sitting on a chair.) Close your eyes and draw your awareness inward. Practice breathing into your belly, drawing nourishment into the whole body on each breath.
2. Slowly and with awareness, raise your right arm and lengthen the right side of your body.
*Remember to always listen to and honour your intuition, the best yoga teacher you will ever find is within your own body.
3. Slowly and mindfully bend sideways to the left. As soon as you feel a stretch in your side ribs, waist, or back stop. Breathe into the stretch honouring your natural range of movement.
4. Turn your head toward your right arm and the ceiling. Breath evenly until you feel the stretch diminish.
5. Repeat steps 2 – 4 on the left side.
6. Bend forward slowly and mindfully until you feel a stretch in the hips or back.
7. place a pile of blankets on the legs (as high as you need so that you can bend forward and place the chest comfortably on the blankets). Turn your head to the side or place a block or pillow under the forehead, and rest the head. Stay resting forward as long as you are comfortable.
8. Sit upright in your favourite meditation position and finish with 5 or more minuets of silent meditation, or follow along with one of the guided meditations posted here.
* If you are doing this pose on a chair follow the chair forward bend instructions here.
Benefits: increases mobility in the intercostal muscles of the rib cage. increases oxygen levels in the blood, boosting energy levels. Increases flexibility in the back and waist. Increased restful alertness, aiding in preparation for seated meditation.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to find out more about the writings of Christine click here
© written and modeled by Christine Wushke, Photo’s by Dianne Wushke.
Christine Wushke is a certified yoga and meditation teacher with over 15 years of experience. Her aim is to create a sacred space for students to effortlessly find the presence of stillness and an inner silence. Christine’s mission is to raise consciousness on the planet by empowering people to realize their own Divinity and to uncover a deep peace within. Christine is committed to assisting you in your journey, and helping you to realize directly for yourself the truth of what you are, and the stillness of truth within. In addition to her yoga and meditation training, Christine is also a registered massage therapist. In the past two years she has studied extensively in the spiritual tradition of Advaita Vedanta. Her teaching style is largely influenced by Iyengar yoga, and the nondual tradition of Advaita.