Transforming Fear to Joy

If we take time to twist our bodies, we will untwist our minds. Beth Spindler

Twisting daily restores the spine’s natural range of motion, purifies organs, and stimulates circulation. The “squeeze-and-soak” action provided by twisting poses wrings out built-up toxins in our organs. When we release from the twist, nutrients and oxygen flow in to bathe, cleanse and heal the affected area.

However, what we twist is just as important as how often we twist. The lumbar spine located between the sacrum and rib cage has very little twisting mobility. Thus, we turn the thoracic (rib cage) and cervical spines (neck) while leaving the lumbar in a neutral position. Attempting to twist the lumbar can destabilize the lower back, sacral joints and pelvis, which results in back and sacral discomfort and pain.

Given the many physiological benefits to our body, yoga teaches us to twist in standing, seated and inversion poses. Use the yoga actions and asana sequence below to ease into and even deepen your twisting ability.

1. Settle your awareness on the skin at the bottom of the rib cage — its full circumference: front, sides and back.
2. INHALE to lift and lengthen the spine, EXHALE and from the front middle-line of the rib cage, turn the skin to the right side body, from the right side body to the back spine, from the back spine to the left side body and from the left side body to the front mid-line. Reverse this action when twisting to the left.

1) VIRASANA (Hero) 3 – 5 minutes
– practise the Yoga Actions while seated in Virasana, and then in each pose following
– repeat with other hand clasp
– repeat twist to other side

ARDHA CHANDRASANA (Half Moon) 5 – 10 Breaths each
– front rib cage twists toward the ceiling; back rib cage twists toward floor

SALAMBA PARIVRTTA ARDHA CHANDRASANA (Supported Reverse Half Moon) 5 – 10 Bs ea
– front rib cage twists toward the ceiling; back rib cage twists toward floor

UPAVISTHA KONASANA (Wide-angle Seated Forward Fold) 10 Bs ea

PARSVA UPAVISTHA KONASANA (Twisted Wide-Angle Seated FF) 10 Bs ea

PARIVRTTA UPAVISTHA KONASANA (Reverse Wide-Angle Seated FF) 10 Bs ea

CHAIR SAVASANA (Calf-supported Corpse) 5- 10 m

May your yoga journey reveal your uncomplicated mind. Namaste.

Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.

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