Twisting postures rotate the spine and stretch the muscles of the back. This helps to restore and retain the spine’s natural range of motion. If we don’t employ our natural range of motion we run the risk of our joints hardening and fusing. The surrounding, supportive soft tissue can also become short and dysfunctional. By extending the muscles to their full length regularly with twists we can help to prevent this.
It’s important to do the twisting postures safely and following are a few guidelines to be incorporated:-
-Inhale and engthen the spine first
In seated twists, ground through the sitting bones and lengthen the spine first. If you feel the back is rounding sit up on a block or folded blanket to maintain the natural length and curve of the back.
–Hips to be square
The way you move [or stabilise] your pelvis will affect the position of your shoulders at the end point of your twist, which will in turn affect your ability to lever yourself around. Hence people who are less flexible benefit from turning their pelvis along with their twists. On the contrary more flexible people get more spinal rotation when they keep their pelvis square; for example in Marichyasana III, turning your pelvis may bring your shoulders so far past your bent leg that you put your arm at a disadvantage by reducing its leverage.
–Twist from the lower spine up
It’s important to be aware that different parts of the spine have different range of mobility, the neck or cervical spine being most mobile. So to avoid the neck from doing all the work, involve the whole spine by starting the twist from the lower spine ,working up, with your neck turning last.
A few spinal twists which we will cover in the coming weeks :-
1. Spinal Twist [Meru Wakrasana]
2. Spinal Twist Prostration Pose [Bhu Naman Asana]
3. Half Spinal Twist I [Ardha Matsayendrasana I]
4. Half Spinal Twist II [Ardha Matsayendrasana II]
5. Bharadwajasana I & II
6. Sage Pose III [Marichiasana III]
7. Pasha Asana
8. Spiralled Head to Knee Pose [Parivritti Janu Shirshasana]
9. Revolved Side Angle Pose [Parivritta Parshava-kona-asana]
10. Side Plough Pose [Parshava Halasana]
Neelanjana Bharadwaj- Yoga Expert