1. On you hands and knees in Tabletop Position, slide the left hand between the right hand and right knee. Slide the arm all the way out to the right, and lower, so the left shoulder and side of the head rest comfortably on the floor.
2. Inhale and reach the right hand up towards the ceiling. At first explore the posture with the arm, finding the place you feel most engaging, then stay there and reach out through the fingers.
3. Hold for 3-6 breaths.
4. To release: On an exhale, lower the palm back to the floor. Press mindfully back up into Tabletop Position.
5. Repeat on the other side.
Beginners tips • You can widen your knees and touch the big toes together to form a more stable base of support.
• Remember ~ your body : your yoga. Be ready to make sequential adjustments to your position to get comfortable. You could resettle the legs, the lower shoulder, the head or the upper arm for example.
Thread the Needle Pose exercises the twisting movement of your spine. It squeezes the belly and opens the chest and shoulders. It offers you a good opportunity to explore the range of movement in the free shoulder, elbow and wrist.
Watch out for...
You may want to modify your pose or leave this one out if you have recent or chronic injury to the knees, shoulders, or neck.
If you feel discomfort in the knees or shoulder, you can place a folded blanket underneath you to protect relieve pressure and stress.
If lowering the shoulder to the ground is too much for you, you could choose to stay at the first stage of the movement, where you thread your hand through. Take it just as far as you can comfortably go. Then return to the starting position and repeat several times, moving with the breath and listening to the body.
• If the pose just doesn't work for you, you could substitute it with a seated twist, in Easy Pose or Adept's Pose or Thunderbolt Pose.
You can play with the position of the top arm in a number of different ways: • Balance the wrist over the shoulder, resting the arm vertically. • Cross upper arm over your back and reach for the inside of opposite thigh with your hand • Take the top arm up and overhead, so the upper arm rest by the ear and the hand rests on the floor. • Explore your range of movement abducting and adducting the shoulder - drawing a semi circle overhead with your hand. • Explore your range of movement in horizontal abduction and adduction - releasing the arm back behind you and then forward in front of you. • Circle the top arm in the air. • Create a flow moving from a low twist (threading the needle) turning the heart to the ground, to a high twist (turning the heart towards the ceiling, raising the arm.)
For an enjoyable vinyasa (flow through different poses...)
Good poses to lead up to this pose are: Tabletop (Bharmanasana) Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) Cat (Marjariasana) Melting Heart Pose (Anahatasana) Hero (Virasana)
Good poses to come after this pose: Table (Bharmanasana) Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana) Hero (Virasana)
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