Yoga twists are important poses to help aid the body in detoxification as they stimulate digestion and facilitate the elimination of impurities and waste products from the body. Circulation of blood and of lymph is also promoted. Taking a few minutes a day to yoga twists is extremely beneficial as they cleanse and refresh all our abdominal organs and the associated glands.
Think what happens when you wring out a sponge — the dirty water is forced out, and then the sponge can soak up clean water again. Twists work in a similar way. The abdominal organs are squeezed during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When the twists are released, then fresh, clean blood enters these organs, bathing the cells in nutrients and oxygen.
Try this pose at any point during your day or evening and you’ll begin to feel the stagnate oxygen and toxins breakdown and release from your body make room for new blood and oxygen to enter the body. And always remember; find length through your spine on your inhale and twist on your exhale.
This week’s featured yoga pose is;
Half Lord Of The Fishes or Ardha Matsyendrasana
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you, buttocks supported on a folded blanket. Bend your knees, put your feet on the floor, then slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Lay the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. The right knee will point directly up at the ceiling.
Exhale and twist toward the inside of the right thigh. Press the right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. Pull your front torso and inner right thigh snugly together.
Press the inner right foot very actively into the floor, release the right groin, and lengthen the front torso. Lean the upper torso back slightly, against the shoulder blades, and continue to lengthen the tailbone into the floor.
You can turn your head in one of two directions: Continue the twist of the torso by turning it to the right; or counter the twist of the torso by turning it left and looking over the left shoulder at the right foot.
With every inhalation lift a little more through the sternum, pushing the fingers against the floor to help. Twist a little more with every exhalation. Be sure to distribute the twist evenly throughout the entire length of the spine; don’t concentrate it in the lower back. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then release with an exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same length of time.
Directions and Photo: Yoga Journal.