Are you joining us for our Spring Into a New You Cleanse? If you are, you know we’re placing pretty heavy emphasis on other things you can do to enhance your detox experience. Not participating? That’s okay! Everyone can use a little bit of detoxifying yoga.
In this week’s Yin series, we’ll cover the basic reclining twist. Twisting poses allow for compression and a “wringing out” motion of the organs which encourages detoxification. This is a great complement to a cleanse but can certainly still be enjoyed on its own. This pose can be modified so that yogis of all kinds can enjoy it.
Coming into the pose is simple. Begin by lying on your back and spreading your arms out so your body forms a “t” shape. Bring the knees to the chest and let them fall to either side. Increase the intensity of the pose by looking the opposite direction of the knees- for example, if the knees are to the right, turn your head to the left. There should be no muscular contraction in this pose which will allow gravity to do its work with no help from you. Play with arm placement here. You may be more comfortable moving one arm up a bit to create a pillow for your head, or you may prefer to leave them straight out to the sides. This pose has quite a bit of room for creativity. You may find that having the knees lower is more beneficial for your tight lower back or possibly you would like them higher to stretch the upper spine. Once you are in a position that works best for you, begin to find stillness. Close the eyes and really let your mind be at ease as your muscles begin to relax. Depending on your position in the pose you may begin to feel some stretching along the SI joint, the glutes, or the IT band. Allow your body to settle into this sensation. If at any time a sensation becomes too intense, just back out of the pose a bit and find stillness again. Enjoy the many benefits of the reclined twist for three to five minutes on each side. This pose is especially great at the end of your yoga practice as it relieves any tension or tightness that you may have acquired in earlier poses.
The transition out of the reclining twist leads beautifully straight into savasana with some brief windshield wiper motion from the legs to release any tension in the hips. Practice this versatile pose as often as you like, switching up the placement of your arms, legs, and neck to reap all of the available benefits.
Photo credit http://www.yinyoga.com