by: The Resource Girls
Why twist? Twists in yoga can be painful, uncomfortable and—let’s be honest—we sometimes try to avoid them at all costs. The parallels between yoga and life are endless, and we believe twisting, like most things in this world that matter, can be uncomfortable at times. Anything worth having comes at a price. Twisting assists in removing toxins from the body. Think of your twists as a sponge being wrung out and getting rid of all the things you no longer want or need. There is nothing more cleansing than a detoxifying twist.
We twist in yoga to stop blood flow and then allow it to rush back in once we let go of the twist and start moving again. With that fresh flow of blood we are bringing life back into our vessels and our bodies. The same is true in life. By letting go of what we don’t need and cutting out things that aren’t serving us, we open ourselves up to what we do need and let the good in. Twists can be hard and uncomfortable, but push through, stay strong and we can promise the end result will be worth it.
Twisting can be intimidating, as many twists lead into binds or inversions. However, here are four twists to get you started. These twists will eventually advance you to longer holds and more complicated twists, wraps, and binds. Twist deeply, and with a grateful heart, exhale fear, doubt, and anything that isn’t serving you.
Legs are grounded into the earth with a wide base and inner thighs drawn in together. Draw your navel into your spine, stretching through both fingers. If you are unable to touch the ground, you can use a block, keep your arms suspended, or grab for your ankle or calf.
Start in crescent position, then bring your hands together in prayer and twist so that your knee is over your elbow. Make sure your abdomen is not resting on that forward leg and your gaze is to the sky. The twist should be initiated from the navel. Use that core strength to keep the upper body lifted.
While in a lunge position with your right knee in front, reach your left arm forward and your right arm back. Turn your torso towards your right knee and bring your gaze back over your right hand.
In a seated position, bring one ankle over the opposite knee. Sit up tall through the spine. Twist your body and focus your gaze over the raised leg, using your elbow to press into the knee to the place of maximum pressure.