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.
We independently source all of the products that we feature on yogajournal.com. If you buy from the links on our site, we may receive an affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.