Today's stretch (also a workout!) is Prayer Twist, or Namaskar Parsvakonasana. This pose helps build leg strength while opening up your chest and back, providing relief to your spine. I really like this pose because it is easy to modify for those who may have weaker leg muscles or if you find that going deep into the pose is simply not in your practice at the time. A good stretch in the back is always welcome!
To get into the pose:
1-Start by getting yourself into a lunge position, your right leg back. You want your left leg having a 90 degree angle at the knee, your left knee over your ankle and your left thigh as parallel to the ground as possible.
2-Turn your right foot to a 45 degree angle, pointing away from your body. If your lower body is feeling too much strain right now, you can easily modify the pose but placing your right knee on the ground.
3-Bring your hands to prayer in front of your chest, keeping your torso long and tall and facing forward.
4-On your next exhalation, twist your torso so that your right elbow comes to rest on the outside of your forward left leg. Hold the pose for four to five breaths.
Keep your chest broad and try to bring your chest so that it is perpendicular with the ground.
Remember to keep your pelvis even and facing forward.
5-Take an inhalation and bring your torso back to an upright position. Switch your leg position in the lunge, your left leg now extended back, and repeat the exercise on the other side for another four to five breaths.