Thread The Needle is a restorative pose that can help stretch your shoulders, neck, and back while increasing mobility in the spine.
However, you should consider making a modification if you experience the following:
- Discomfort in the knees
- Weak glutes and thighs
- Excessive back pain/discomfort or tension
- Discomfort or restriction in the shoulders limiting ability to reach shoulder and head to the ground
- Excessively tense and restricted neck
Modification 1: Squeeze a block between your thighs.
Squeeze a block or bolster between your knees or thighs to keep the legs engaged and the hips aligned. This is particularly useful if If you find your knees are feeling some strain from your hips trying to shift to one side during the twist. If you have weak glutes and/or thighs, squeezing a block between your legs can also be used to stimulate the engagement of your thighs and glutes during the pose.
Modification 2: Lower your hips down onto your heels.
If your lower body is too weak to comfortably anchor you in this pose, you can lower your hips down onto your heels, resting your torso on your lap as you focus on the shoulder twist to stretch the upper body. This is especially useful if you feel excessive back pain and/or tension in the back or the neck.
Modification 3: Block beneath your shoulder.
Try placing a block or bolster beneath your shoulder and head to help provide support until you develop the flexibility to lower your shoulder and head to the ground safely and comfortably.