Breathe easier and improve your posture with this liberating yoga sequence.

Our side muscles–or intercostals–are made to move with the “slide and glide” of breathing. But too much sitting, a lack of movement, excess coughing, or even a good night’s rest can tighten them, inhibiting our breath and freedom.

The  intercostals continues down into your obliques–the supportive side muscles of our core. Our intercostals are responsible for side-bending, and contribute to our upright shape, breathing, and the complex movements of bipedal life. Cross-body movements using these muscles, activate both sides of the brain, and studies have shown that using them can improve memory. For these reasons and more, side-bending movements are an essential part of a holistic health routine.

This sequence, by New York City-based yoga teacher Dana Slamp, is perfect for anytime you need a quick mental and physical refresh.


Warm-up with Cat, Cow, wrist and ankle circles, and three Sun Salutation As.

See also 16 Sidebending Poses to Prep for Pranayama

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