Twist Your Way into the New Year

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Twisting postures in yoga are a fantastic way to cleanse the body and aid digestion. If like me you are prone to problems such as bloating, stomach cramps, constipation and IBS, they really help to improve the digestive system and cleanse the abdominal organs which in turn will help your body to digest food much easier. Every time you twist you are wringing out the abdominal organs, then when you release this allows a new flow of blood and oxygen into those areas which is why twists are said to detoxify the body.

I wanted to share with you 3 of my favourite twisting poses. I try and practise these every day to keep cleansing my digestive system but I wouldn’t recommend trying any of these just after eating, please leave at least 2 hours before or after eating before you start twisting!

As you do these moves, use each inhale to lengthen and each exhale to wring yourself out like a sponge, getting rid of anything you no longer want or need.

Wide-legged Forward Fold with Twist: From a wide-legged forward fold, heel-toe feet wide, about three to four feet apart. Take left hand to right ankle or shin, reach right hand toward the ceiling, and lean back. Stay here or, if it would feel even better, bend right elbow, take hold of the top of left thigh, and lean back. Breathe for 5 deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

Side-to-Side Chair Twists: From standing, sink hips and reach arms high to chair pose. Look in front of knees and make sure you can see toes. If you can’t, sit back until you can. Take hands together at heart centre in prayer position, take a big inhale to lengthen through spine, and use exhale to twist to the right, taking left elbow outside of right thigh. Inhale back to center and use exhale to twist to the left. Repeat this sequence 5 times on each side.

High Lunge Prayer Twist: Begin in high lunge with your right foot forward. Take your hands together in a prayer at the center of your chest. Take a deep inhale, using your thumbs to slightly lift your chest.Use your exhale to engage your navel to your spine and twist your torso to the right.Hook your left elbow outside of your right thigh. Get the right elbow pointing towards the ceiling if you can, open the chest and with every exhale try and twist a little further. Breathe here for at least three deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.