Yogis are twisted. Fact.
Twists are neutralising position of the spine after lots of strong back bends or forward bends and particularly after head balance.. Twists are working the abdominal, obliques, back muscles, shoulders, pelvis, neck etc… Some yoga twists come from lower spine and others from upper spine, as long as you do them correctly and therefore safely.
Before you twist: ground your buttock bones, INHALE, lengthen the spine, move the back ribs forward, keep your head in the centre, EXALE and carefully twist.
Be aware of the difference in range of movement in the different parts of the back/spine. The lower part, lumbar spine- rotates only around 5 degrees, the thoracic spine rotates approx 35 degrees, whereas the cervical spine turn move approx. 50 degrees.
Twists, what are they good for?
1. Twists Improve Digestion
When you are in a twist, you will compressing your digestive organs, causing a lack of circulation. When you release your twist- fresh blood flood your digestive organs. Fresh blood flow equals fresh oxygen and nutrients, increasing blood flow to the digestive organs and their ability to function.
Re-introduce fresh blood to your abdominal organs which helps to cleanse the cells of any built up waste because with increased circulation comes increased cellular detoxification.
Twists are wonderful if you deal with stress or anxiety. They help to open the chest(heart),shoulders and back and combined with rhythmic breathing have a positive effect on mental state.
4. Reduction In Back Pain
Slumping over a computer, slouching behind the steering wheel, sitting in chair with poor back support can lead to back pain. Twists can provide serious relief from the back pain caused by everyday life.
You should Avoid twists, if:
If you’re pregnant – some twists should be skipped because of the pressure they place on the abdominal cavity. However, practice with an experienced yoga teacher, qualified in pregnancy yoga.
Have a Spinal disc injury – consult with your physical therapist about what movements are ok for you.
Suffer from Chronic digestive issues – many people find twists helpful for digestive problems especially constipation. However always ask for your doctor’s before you attend yoga class.
If you have Sacroilliac (SI) joint issues – although you probably already aware that certain yoga twists won’t work for you, it is very advisable you talk to your teacher to understand how twisting impact SI.
The best way to learn about the benefits of twists is to experience them for yourself http://iyogabody.com/classes/!