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Four Benefits of Yoga Twists

One of the most common body pain complaints is back pain.  No matter if you stand all day at work or drive for hours each week, yoga twists offer the most help in alleviating this pain.  

The lower back tends to take the brunt of weight from every day tasks.  It restricts circulation, which creates difficulty digesting, soreness and mental fog.  Twists offer support in these three areas of concern to provide prevention and relief.

Detoxifying 

Twists detoxify all major supporting lines of the body; to cleanse the spine, organs and tissues for improvement.  By compressing the digestive organs with the addition of weight and lack of circulation, toxins are wrung out and a rush of blood floods upon release.  Fresh blood allows for fresh nutrients and oxygen into organs, muscles and bones.

Stagnated impurities and cellular detoxification allows the organs to function properly, creating normalcy in the digestive and cleansing process.

Stretching and Strengthening 

The bones and muscles become stiff over time surrounding the spine.  Twisting offers increased range of motion to remain mobile over a lifetime. The offer a lovely stretch for hard to reach areas like the back, sides of body and abdominal area, as well as tone muscles for added support in daily movements to prevent further injuries.

Mental Health

The open nature of the chest, shoulders and back allow stress and anxiety to release.  The normal slump of these areas during the day while working at a desk or driving prevents a clear and open space for release.  With open chest, shoulders and back, trapped anxious feelings release.  Any stored tension is released with the flow of breath during the twist.

Twists release the strongest and most difficult muscles of the body to create a psychological effect that reaches deep into the subconscious.  The body and mind then benefit from increased self-awareness and clarity.

A deep refreshed feeling is available then for both mind and body.

In Practice

Consider using the wall as a prop for a deeper stretch: shoulders, chest, back, sides.  This offers stability and spaciousness for deeper breaths, posture, lightness, and comfort.

Try the following poses (asanas) for improved digestion, decreased back pain, and peace of mind:

Sukasana, Easy pose with a twist

Sit in a comfortable, cross legged position.  Lengthen the spine and draw the crown of the head upwards.  Place your left hand on the right knee, right hand directly behind your body, and slowly begin to twist.  Take your gaze slowly towards the back of the room to deepen the pose, always moving with your breath.

Standing Marichyasana III 

Place a chair with its back to the wall and know you have the option to place a block on top for added modification (long legs should take care to ensure the knee is high enough).

Stand with the right hip next to the wall, hip over knee, knee over angle.  Foot is pointed straight ahead.  Bend the right leg and place the foot on the block or chair.

Inhale lengthen the spine, exhale turn the torso towards the wall and place your hands against it for light support.  Roll shoulders back and away from the ears.  Lift and open the chest.  Each exhale allows you to become more comfortable, or deeper in the posture.

Not only will your body receive a detox, stretch and mental peace, but they will improve your overall practice and allow you deeper in other postures.  Your organs, spine and mind will thank you when you incorporate twists into your practice.

*Always check with a healthcare professional before incorporating new postures into your practice.  Please take care if you are pregnant, with ulcers, hernias, and slipped disks. Menstruation should incorporate only open twists, and pregnancy should take care and consider twisting after the second trimester is complete.

Listen to your body as you incorporate different postures into your asana, always taking time and care.

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