Yoga Poses: Half Lord of the Fishes [VIDEO]

Yoga’s spinal twists can relieve some of the tension that builds up in the back after riding a bike for a long time. In addition to stretching the spine, half lord of the fishes pose will also open up your shoulders, neck and hips.

How to do it: Sit with your legs straight in front of you. If your hamstrings are really tight, place your butt on the edge of a folded blanket. Bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Move your left foot to the outside of your right hip and let your left knee rest on the floor. Bring your right foot to the outside of your left thigh, with your foot flat on the floor and your right knee pointing up at the ceiling. Rest your right hand or fingertips on the floor behind you, and your left hand on your right knee. As you inhale, lengthen your spine by sitting up tall. As you exhale, turn your torso toward your right thigh. For a deeper twist, bring the left elbow to the outside of the right knee with the fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Look gently back over your right shoulder, or toward the front of the room. To come out of the pose, return to the starting position on an exhale. Straighten your legs out in front of you—your knees can be bent slightly—and fold forward on an exhale. Inhale back to seated. Repeat on the other side.

How to get better: Avoid using your arms to pull yourself deeper into the twist, which can strain the spine. Instead, use your core muscles to turn as far as possible as you exhale. If you can’t get your elbow on the outside of the upright knee, you can also hug your arm around the front of that knee.

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