ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA – HALF LORD OF THE FISH
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, buttocks supported on a folded blanket or block. Slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor.
Exhale and twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Press the right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. Pull your front torso and inner right thigh together.
With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, pushing the fingers against the floor to help. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Be sure to distribute the twist evenly throughout the entire length of the spine; don’t concentrate it in the lower back. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.
PARIVRITTI TRIKONASANA – TRIANGLE POSTURE
From standing, turn your left foot in 45 to 60 degrees to the right and your right foot out to the right 90 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward, so that the centre of the right kneecap is in line with the centre of the right ankle.
Square your hip points as much as possible with the front edge of your sticky mat. As you bring the left hip around to the right, resist the head of the left thigh bone back and firmly ground the left heel. Draw the left hand and arm as far forward as possible.
With an exhalation, turn your torso further to the right and extend forward over the front leg. Reach your left hand down, either to the floor (inside or outside the foot) or, if the floor is too far away, onto a block positioned against your inner right foot.
Beginning students should keep their head in a neutral position, looking straight forward, or turn it to look at the floor. More experienced students can turn the head and gaze up at the top thumb. From the centre of the back, between the shoulder blades, press the arms away from the torso. Bring most of your weight to bear on the back heel and the front hand.
Stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute. Exhale, release the twist, and bring your torso back to upright with an inhalation. Repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed, twisting to the left.
JATHARA PARIVRITTI – REVOLVED ABDOMEN POSE
Lie on your back on the floor with your arms outstretched from your shoulders, like the letter T, palms facing the ceiling. Let there be a straight line running from your chin, to your sternum, to your pubic bone. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor.
Lift your hips off the floor and swing them to the left. Take your knees toward your chest and drop them toward the floor on the right side of your body. Inhaling, lengthen your spine. Exhale both shoulders toward the floor. Soften your gaze; quiet your hearing; relax your jaw.
Hold the spinal twist for three complete breaths. Lift your legs off the floor and place your feet back down to centre your hips on the floor. Repeat everything to the other side. Repeat this up-down movement on the left side 10 times, or until your waist or back muscles begin to tire.