This is a relatively straight forward twist, though there are a few things to keep in mind. Begin by lying down flat on your back. Bring the knees directly over your hips with the shins parallel to the mat and the arms extended out to the sides. Keeping the thighs, knees, and feet together, let the legs drop to the right while keeping both shoulders on the floor. Keep the spine straight and let the gaze move toward the left hand.
If the knees don’t make it all the way down to the floor with a straight back, resist the urge to flex the spine (bending forward at the waist) as this compresses and puts pressure on the lower (lumbar) spine. Instead, place a bolster or blanket underneath the thighs to support your legs, allowing you to maintain a straight line from the pelvic floor through the crown of the head as you twist.
While at least some muscular activity is generally required to hold this pose, try and let go of as much tension as you can, releasing to gravity as much as possible. Let the breath stay even and steady. Stay as long as you like, then repeat for an equal amount of time on the second side.
One thing to note is that while this is called revolved abdomen pose, the majority of the twisting actually takes place in the upper spine. There is very little rotation that can occur below the T-12 vertebra. Most of this and all other spinal twists therefore occurs in the upper spine. While this is the case, the twisting action will still stretch the muscles of the lower torso and hips (including the obliques, oblique muscles of the erector spinae, and the glutes).
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!