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TWISTS

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Twists penetrate deep into the body's core, stimulating internal organs, particularly the kidneys and liver. Twists create suppleness and freedom in the spine whilst opening the chest, shoulders, neck and hips. Active or twists strengthen the abdominal obliques. Regular twisting helps maintain the normal length and resilience of the spine's soft tissues and the health of the vertebral disks and facet joints of the spine, restoring the spines natural range of motion. By twisting our body more and more into a pretzel, we more easily unwind 

THE TWISTS

ASANA LABS

RESOURCES

      ALIGNMENT cues

 + USEFUL TIPS; 

allow you to UNDERSTAND,  

get up to grips.

o FORWARD BENDS

o BACK BENDS 

o TWISTS

o SIDE BENDS

o INVERSIONS

o ARM BALANCES

GENERAL PRINCIPLES

  • Rotate thighs internally. You can feel this using a block in between your thighs. Apply pada bandha to accentuate this further. 

  • Never overly squeeze the buttocks, instead soften the upper fibers of your gluteus max, which in contracting will externally rotate and abduct the thighs and thereby putting pressure on the SI joint at the base of the spine. 

  • Posteriorly tilt the pelvis. This action will draw more length into the lumbar spine, reducing pressure on the lower intervertebral disks and help share the backbend up the spine - bring front bony hip points toward the front ribs. 

  • Create length through the spine to allow greater spinal extension. 

  • Focus the backbend in the thoracic spine*

  • Add extension to cervical spine last or allow your neck to stay neutral.

  • Draw lower tips of shoulder blades in and up towards the heart further opening the chest. 

  • Lift the sternum up - increasing expansiveness.

  • Keep the breath steady and soft. 

 

TYPES OF BACK BENDS

CONTRACTION BACKBENDS

The back muscles concentrically contract to over come gravity.

TRACTION BACKBENDS

Muscles in the front body eccentrically contract to overcome gravity.

LEVERAGE BACKBENDS

The arms and legs press against an unmovable object (floor, wall or other part of body) to stretch the front of the body. 

 

Within each of these the humerus may be in extension/flexion requiring different areas of engagement or release through the shoulder girdle:

 

SHOULDER FLEXION BACKBENDS 

Flexion requires the rhomboids, lats, pecs and triceps to release.

SHOULDER EXTENSION BACKBENDS

Extension of the arms requires the scapula to be stabilised by the rhomboids, lower traps and serratus anterior while the pecs must release.

CLASS INTEGRATIONS

o Twists are great neutralising asanas;

o Excellent after backbends, twists are excellent prep postures for them also. 

o Twists mildly stimulate the nervous system and reawaken energy, they work well following deeply  relaxing postures -- forward folds and hip opening postures. They can be used to relive lethargy. 

o Twists are great for calming anxiety.

o Practice twists evenly, on both sides to promote balance. 

o After intense twisting, a slight passive backbend such as bridge pose feels good and helps integrate the effects of the twists. 

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