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June 2016 Issue
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Half seated twist back stretch

The half seated twist is good for your back. Photo: Ian Harrison

Spinal twists can relieve back pain and help balance muscle tension in the back. Be gentle and avoid the temptation to wrench too deeply into the twist.

Sit on the floor with both legs extended. If your hamstrings are tight, or it’s painful for your lower back to sit in this position, sit your hips on the edge of a folded blanket or towel.

Bend your left knee, bringing your left foot to the floor over the top of the right leg. If your hips do not stay on the floor, bring the foot inside the right knee.

Flex the toes of your right foot.

Bring your left fingertips to the floor behind your hips and press into the floor to sit up tall through the spine.

Lift your right hand up to the ceiling, turn your left shoulder back, twisting your torso to the left. Bring your right arm down to hug your knee.

Deepen the twist by bringing your right elbow outside your left knee. When you press into the knee, focus on lifting up through your spine.

Try to relax your shoulders down.

Take a few breaths and unwind.

Change to the other side.