On the yoga mat, include some twists in your practice to help blitz the wintery feelings of stagnation, slowness and heaviness that are often caused by a more sedentary, indoor lifestyle and the consumption of heavy, comforting foods. Twists can serve to invigorate a sluggish digestive system and wake-up a stiff spine. Mentally, the spiralling around movement can help us view life from a fresh perspective and realise how much room there actually is to move. Built-up tensions are released by wringing-out the body, allowing fresh, clean energy to invigorate every cell.
A sedentary lifestyle, including too much sitting can compress and age the spine. By first gently lengthening the spine, then rotating, the tiny muscles linking each vertebra to it’s neighbour are strengthened and receive a welcome stretch. Twists apply pressure on the abdominal organs so that the deoxygenated blood can be squeezed out, allowing a delivery of fresh oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the digestive system. This ‘squeeze and release’ action gets toxins and waste products moving through the intestines more efficiently.
Each vertebra of the spine is separated and cushioned from it’s neighbour by a disc. These discs are made of fibrocartilaginous material and so do not have a direct blood supply. Spinal movement, including twists, help deliver essential nutrients to the discs to keep them healthy and functioning well.
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Twist are best done on an empty-ish belly, prior to or 2-3 hours after eating. Within a full yoga sequence, twists are particularly useful to do after backbends.
(First take a look at the photo of me below, as this is the the pose that the below steps will guide you in doing)
‘PIN ME’ to your favourite Pinterest board, and refer to this guide when you’re in need of a twist!
I want to know, have you tried twisting like this before? Do you like it? And how does it make you feel? Share your experiences via the comments below… I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!
P.S. Do you know someone who could benefit from some gentle yoga twisting? Share this with them now. The big buttons below are here to help you spread the word!
This article is part of the 2015 ‘Spring Into Wellbeing’ Hub: Check it out for expert health and wellbeing tips, guides and advice from Australia’s leading wellbeing experts – inspiring and empowering you to unlock the path to true wellness this Spring.
Bronni wants to live in a world where calm is ‘in’ and chaos is ‘out’! Her teaching style blends deliciously restful poses with seriously soothing ambience. Her students love her personal attention and gentle approach. She’s led classes in Australia and Canada, and recently launched an online yoga program ‘Create Your Calm at Home’. When she’s not playing with yoga props, you can ﬁnd her searching out the best cappuccino in town.
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