This standing side bend is a very simple pose with great benefits.  Easy to add to your yoga practice, post workout stretch, or used gently as a break from sitting at your desk. 

Start standing with feet together in Tadasana.  Balance your weight in the four corners of your feet, draw up your thighs, enlist your abdominals, broaden your shoulderblades, and reach your arms overhead to clasp your fingers together.  On an inhale, reach your arms up to lengthen both sides of the body.  On an exhale, bend to your right side, keeping your shoulders and hips square to the front.  Watch that your chin doesn’t drop to your chest, keep the head in line with the body.  Take a few breaths here, maintaining strong thighs while you think of sending your hips to the left.

On an inhale release the stretch and take a few breaths, then take the stretch to the other side.

What’s stretching?  The muscles in the side body like Latissimus Dorsi, Oblique Abdominals, Quadratus Lumborum, Erector Spinae, Gluteus Medius, Psoas, even the Tensor Fascia Latae and Iliotibial Band. 

Who’s it good for?  Everyone.  But, this pose is especially helpful if you’ve been sitting at your desk or doing an asymmetrical task for a while (mousing, driving, carrying the kids on one hip).  It’s also a great stretch to prepare for back bending, or to start any yoga practice.

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