Joëlle Sleebos has got a few yoga poses that’ll have you twisting towards a detox in the New Year.
Happy New Year! I hope you all had a great break and a fantastic time with family and friends.
This issue I would like to teach you a couple of ways to twist. Not the dancing kind of twist, but twisting yoga poses. Twisting poses penetrate deep into the body’s core and the muscles and organs of the torso can benefit from these poses. If you practice these poses regularly your spine will become more supple, while you are giving your organs a ‘detox-cleanse’. I would assume your organs might need a bit of cleansing after the festive season!
The following poses are just three options. I would recommend you to warm the body up first with a couple of Suryanamaskara A (from Full Sus June/July 2015). Once you feel nice and warm, mix theses twisting poses up with other yoga poses and exercises you already know. You could do all three in one day, but they really don’t have to be done together.
The most important thing is, of course, to enjoy the feel of the poses and to practice safe. Like with any yoga pose, twists should also be practiced with care. Just apply the following tips and enjoy:
- Let your breath be your guide and try to stay away from forcing the body into deep twists by using physical strength. Try to practice in a gentle and relaxed way. Breathe deeply. Let the breath create length and space in the body.
- Lengthen the spine as much as you can before twisting. If you are not sure about the position of your body, practice in front of the mirror a couple of times and visualize the position of your spine at the back of your body and try to lengthen it.
- Make sure the base of your spine and your lower back is ‘stable’ and square. When you are in a seated position before twisting, make sure there is even weight in both sit bones. When twisting from Utkatasana/Chair Pose, make sure your toes, knees and hips are inline before twisting.
- If you twist on the right, also twist on the left and try to stay in the twist for the same numbers of breaths on each side.
- Take Care: If a pose does not feel right, especially if you have lower back problems, don’t force yourself and back-off or don’t practice that specific pose at all.
Seated Spinal Twist
2.1 Start seated – both leg extended forward.
2.2 Bend right knee and step foot over extended leg. Make sure both sit bones are in contact with the floor.
2.3 Inhale: Lift arms.
2.4 Exhale: Lower arms and twist to the right.
2.5 Inhale: Hold the pose, try to lengthen the spine just a little bit more.
2.6 Exhale: Keep spine straight, relax and maybe twist a little further without physically forcing your body.
- Repeat several times.
- Repeat twisting to the left.
3.1 Start lying down on your back.
3.2 Inhale: Both knees in towards chest. Activate your feet, lengthen your spine.
3.3 Exhale: Spread your arms wide.
3.4 Inhale: Hold the pose – maybe close your eyes.
3.5 Exhale: Legs slowly move to the left.
3.6 Inhale: Hold the pose.
3.7 Exhale: You can now turn your head if it does not hurt your neck.
- Repeat several times.
- Repeat twisting to the right.