Let’s Do the TWIST!!
Matsyendra- Lord of the Fishes
Twist Benefits: DeTox’s liver and kidneys, relief for stiff upper back, neck and shoulders, energizes the spine, stimulates digestive fires, and some relief for sciatic discomfort.
You know that feeling when you stand up and stretch after a long period of sitting? Ahhh…you can almost feel it! That’s what twisting feels like for your back and internal organs. Monday yoga practices at the SAC, I have been dedicating to the concept of detoxing the body from toxins. Twisting is one of the best ways to use your yoga practice as a tool to feel healthy from the inside, out.
Twist it UP! To start, grab a blanket and fold it firmly under your sit bones, there by elevating your hips, and tilting your pelvic bone forward for more flexible ease in the hips.
Bend one knee, then; step the other foot over the top of the “bent knee” leg. If you have supper tight hips, you can modify by stepping the foot near the ankle.
Exhale as you lengthen the spine and twist the torso towards the bent knee-as if you are wringing out a dishtowel. Keep lifting up through the spine and avoid collapsing the chest and shoulders. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute for max twisting benefits.
Counter twist by lying on your back for Bridge Pose or Happy Baby.
There are many variations of twisting poses in a yoga practice, and as you continue deepening your yoga practice, you'll discover the ones that feel best for you.
I have started adding a little “aside” to this column I am calling “yoga wisdom” that will include advice from a yogic perspective for a variety of common topics. The winter months of rain and lack of sunlight in the Northwest often causes the “winter blues” for lot’s of folks, including myself. One idea is to amp up your practice, by either adding some heat or taking a “hot vinyasa” class, and to focus on twisting, upside down poses and back bends. One piece of advice I’ve been hearing from a few different sources is go to a Tanning Salon! In combination with the oral usage of St. John’s Wort, popular herbal mild anti depressant, and Vita D, the tanning bed provides warmth, UV rays; necessary to “trick” the body into thinking it has had sun. Please use caution, as the wrong tanning and length of time on the bed can ruin your skin. But in small doses, is very beneficial. I’m going tanning this week!!!