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How to Do the Yoga-with-Weights Sphinx Exercise

The Sphinx is a very relaxing yoga-with-weights exercise that requires concentration. In classic yoga, the pose is considered the “pose of wisdom,” because you look through your third eye — your intuitive and instinctive center. Along with its centering powers, the Sphinx stretches and loosens your head and neck.

The Sphinx is for your neck, not your shoulders. Keep your shoulders square, and don’t twist your spine during this exercise.

Strap on your ankle weights and follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your elbows under your shoulders — your forearms, wrists, and palms should be flat on the ground — and your chin up.

    This is the starting position. Look straight ahead — not up or down. Spread your fingers wide for stability and support.

    If you have difficulty rising onto your elbows without moving your shoulders, simply place your arms farther away from your body and raise your head to a comfortable level.

  2. Inhaling to a count of four, bend your left knee perpendicular to your body as you look over your left shoulder.

    Lift your foot over your knee. Turn your head as far as you can without moving your shoulders. Time the movement of your head and leg so that they finish moving at the same time.

  3. Exhaling to a count of four, lower your leg and turn your head back to the starting position.

As you turn your head, look out of the corner of your eyes at your foot, but don’t turn your head to look at your foot. When you return to the starting position, look straight ahead. Feel your neck stretching and twisting.

Alternating shoulders, do this exercise six to eight times with each shoulder, pause to rest, and then do another six to eight repetitions with each shoulder.

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