Twists have so many benefits, including: maintaining healthy spinal rotation, improving digestion, overall spine health, alleviating lower back pain, and better posture.
If you have a bit of time to spare today, give these 7 twists a try and let me know how you feel.
1. Side to Side Cat/Cow Variation – Start in table top with your hands under your shoulders and knees under the hips. For this variation, inhale and hold in neutral. Exhale, bringing left shoulder toward left hip. Lengthening the right side of the body. Inhale back to center. Exhale to the right. Repeat side to side a few times.
2. Thread the Needle – Come back to center. Reach the right arm up to the sky. Then thread the right arm under you towards the left. Dropping shoulder and ear to the mat. Option to extend the left arm forward. Option also to lift the left leg, extending it back. Lift back up and repeat to the other side.
3. Prayer Twist in Chair – Come to stand at the top of the mat. Bring the big toes together and the heels about an inch apart. Thighs hugging in. Bring the hands to the heart. Bend into the knees. Rocking weight back into the heels as you sink low. Tail lengthens down. Push the palms together. Rotate to the right. Hooking the left elbow to the right thigh. Keep left knee back. Hips in line. Hold for a few breaths. Return through center. Then twist to the left.
4. Low Lunge Twist – Come to downward dog. Step the right leg to the top of the mat, between the hands. Drop back knee down. Lift up into low lunge, bringing hands together at the heart. Rotate towards the right. Hooking the left elbow over the right knee. Push into the hands to lift the belly off the thigh.
5. Easy Twist – Bring left hand down inside of the right foot. Tuck the back toes and lift the knee off the mat. Reach the right arm up to the sky. Rotating the chest towards the right.
Bring hands down, take a flow and repeat to the other side.
6. Wide Legged Forward Fold Twist – Turn towards the long edge of the mat, step the feet wide and parallel to the short edges of the mat. Bring the hands to the hips. Hinge at the hips and fold down. Bring the left hand underneath the head. Push into the hand and reach the right arm up. Opening twist to the right. Exhale to release and switch to other side.
7. Standing Pigeon with Twist – Come to stand at the top of the mat. Shift weight into left foot. Cross the right ankle over the left knee. Bend into the left knee as if coming into chair pose. Bring hands to the heart. Stay here, or rotate to the left, hooking left elbow to the bottom of the right foot. Push against it and push hands toward one another. Gaze at something that’s not moving. Repeat on other side.
These poses come from a 30 minute intermediate vinyasa flow I recently released.