Twists

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simple twistSimple Twist (Parivrtta Sukhasana) View

 

 

abdominal twist (jathara parivrtti)Abdominal Twist (Jathara Parivrtti) View


Extend right leg upward to 90 degree angle with left leg flat on your mat. Arms can be on the leg or extended away from the body, palms down. Exhale into the twist, bringing the right leg down to the right. Complete the twist by turning the head away from the extended leg. Inhale, lifting the leg back up, stabalize and repeat x4 on each side. On the last repetition stay in the twist for 4-5 full breaths on each side. This may also be pratciced with a strap. 

Benefits: Stretches IT band (great for runners), stretches abdominal muscles and massages abdominal organs. Breathing with the movement is calming and good for focussing the mind.

 

 

reclining_twistSupta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist) View

 

 

 

Bharadvaja's twist

Bharadvaja’s Twist (Bharadvajasana) View

Sit on floor, legs stretched out in front. Arms resting at your sides. Bend knees and bring them toward left hip, the weight of your body resting on right buttock. The inner side of left ankle rests on the arch of right foot. Inhale lenthen spine. Exhale, twist upper trunk as much as possible. Right hand on floor, left hand the outer right thigh. Left hip grounds down. With a slight bend in the upper back, twist and feel its effects along the entire spine. Turn head, look over right shoulder. Lengthen the spine with each inhale. Deepen the twist with each exhalation. Hold pose for about a minute. Exhale, gently untwist. Repeat with right side. (You may want to rest your buttock on a thickly folded blanket during the twist.)

Benefits: Calming, stretches spine, trunk, shoulders, and hips. Massages abdominal organs, supports digestion and elimination
Contraindications: severe spine, hip disc problems. High or low blood pressure, insomnia, headaches, and diarrhea

 

 Half Lord of the Fish Pose

Half Lord of the Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana) View


Sit down on mat; stretch right leg out in front as pelvis is pressed firmly on the mat. Cross left leg over your right leg, left foot resting flat on mat next to right knee. Bend right leg, bringing right heel next to left hip. Pull left knee towards your chest your right hand. Exhale twist trunk towards the back with, head facing the back, and place left hand on mat next to left hip. Hold pose for about a minute and release. Eventually pose can be held longer, for several minutes. Repeat on other side.

Benefits: realigns, strengthens and stretches the spine, hips, neck and shoulders. massages organs, alleviates fatigue, back pain, sciatica and menstrual pain. therapeutic for asthma and infertility
Contraindications: pregnancy and menstruation due to the strong twist in abdomen. heart, abdominal or brain surgeries. peptic ulcer or hernia. severe spinal problems (those with mild slipped disc can benefit but avoid if severe)

 

Marichi’s Pose or Sage Pose

Marichi’s Pose or Sage Pose (Marichyasana) View


Sit in Dandanasa (Staff Pose), inhale, and ground hips down into the floor as the spine rises up. Lift the heart upward. Exhale, bend right knee, foot on the mat about 6 inches from thigh of straight leg. Heel is close to the right sitting bone. Left leg is strong, rotated slightly inward; ground thigh into mat. Grounding the the areas that meet the mat will help lengthen the spine. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, forward fold. Reach out and lengthen iarms and sides of the waist and wrap one arm around your bent leg and the other around your waist. Trying to clasp hands. Allow head to fall down towards straight leg. Hold pose for 3-5 breaths, release arms, and return to staff pose. Repeat on the other side.Modifications: If you cannot clasp hands together you may need to use a strap to extend your reach. If you have tight hips or hamstrings, you may want to elevate them by sitting on a folded blanket.

Benefits: Massages abdominal organs, stretches shoulders, stimulates brain, strengthens and stretches spine, relieves mild back andhip pain, sciatica relief, aids in digestion, asthma, and mestrual discomfort
Contraindications: Serious back or spine injury, high or low blood pressure, migraine, diarrhea, headache, insomnia

 

Marichyasana IIMarichyasana II View

 

 

Marichyasana III (or C)

Marichyasana III View

 

Sit in Dandanasa (Staff Pose), bend right knee, foot on the mat, heel close to the right sitting bone. Left leg is strong, rotated slightly inward; ground thigh into mat. Press back of left heel and base of big toe away from pelvis. Press inner right foot into mat, but soften the inner right groin as you twist. Grounding the the areas that meet the mat will help lengthen the spine. Exhale, rotatetorso right, wrap eft arm around right thigh. Hold outer thigh with left hand, pull thigh up and release right hip to mat. Press right fingertips onto mat just behind pelvis to lift torso slightly up and forward. Lengthen the spine with each inhalation, deepen twist with each exhalation. Hug thigh to belly, lean back against your shoulder blades into an upper-back backbend. Complete twist by gently turning head right. Hold pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, release with exhalation, reverse the twist to the left for an equal length of time.

Benefits: Massages abdominal organs, stretches shoulders, stimulates brain, strengthens and stretches spine, relieves mild back andhip pain, sciatica relief, aids in digestion, asthma, and mestrual discomfort

Contraindications: Serious back or spine injury, high or low blood pressure, migraine, diarrhea, headache, insomnia

 

Thread the Needle 2

Thread the Needle or Kneeling Twist (Parsva Balasana) View

 

Begin in table pose (on hands and knees, neutral spine). Knees below hips. Wrists and elbows below shoulders, in a straight line. Inhale, raise right arm to ceiling, keeping hips centered. Exhale, bring right back down, slide right hand between the left hand and left knee. Slide right arm out to the left bringing right shoulder and side of the head to rest on the mat. Rest here or deepen stretch by extending left arm to ceiling, reaching through the fingers. Hold pose for 3-6 breaths. Release, exhale, bring left palm mat, unwind and press back up to table pose. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Releases toxins by compressing and massaging internal organs. Opens chest. Therapeutic for depression. Stretches shoulders, arms, upper back and neck.Contraindications: Pregnancy. Serious back/spine injuries. Injury to knees, shoulders, or neck.
Modifications: To protect knees from stress, place folded blanket under them.

 

Revolved Head-to-Knee

Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose (Parivrtta Janu Sirsana) View

From staff pose (dandasana), open the legs out as wide as is comfortable -seated wide-legged straddle (upavistha konasana). Bend right knee, bring right sole the inner left thigh/groin. Left foot is flexed. Sit tall, elongate the spine. Lean torso over to left, bringing back of left forearm to floor inside left leg. (If not possible, bring arm to shin or the thigh if necessary.) Gently twist torso away from the left leg, opening chest to the right.( If left arm is inside the left leg, press it into the leg for resistance. Gaze upwards but do not over rotate the neck. Raise right arm overhead, right biceps over right ear. Hold position for several breaths and come up. Reposition and continue on opposite side. 

Benefits: Stretches spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. Stimulates abdominal organs. Improves digestion,
relieves mild backache, eases anxiety, fatigue, insomnia, and headache

 

5 Pointed Star

Standing Straddle Forward Bend with a Twist View


Begin in 5 Pointed Star Pose, feet parallel, wide stance, arms out. Exhale, bend forward, hinging from the hips. Place your left hand on the mat directly under your shoulder and twist your right arm straight upward. Look up toward the raised hand. Hold for 3-6 breaths then switch sides. Or make it a more dynamic movement by coming forward into the twist with each exhale and inhaling back to 5 Pointed Star Pose.

 

Extended Side Angle Pose

Extended Side Angle Pose Utthita Parsvakonasana View


Start in Warrior Two. Lengthen the spine. Right foot in front, knee is bent (about 90 degrees). Knee is stacked over (or just behind) ankle. The left leg is back and straight, foot pressing into mat. Keeping the body flat (like you are against a wall) turn your arms so your right hand is extended down toward the floor while the left is reaching up toward the ceiling. The left hand can touch the floor or bend right elbow and rest it lightly on your thigh. Breathe and hold position for 3-6 breaths. To release, inhale and reach the left fingers up and back into warrior II or straighten the legs coming into 5 pointed star. Repeat on other side.

Benefits: Opens the side of the body from feet to fingers. Energizes the body and strengthens legs.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, knees, neck or shoulders.

 

Revolved Extended Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)_4Revolved Side Angle (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana) View


Start in tadasana. Step right foot forward, bend your knee 90 degrees. Kneel with bringing left knee to the floor. Bring left elbow or left upper arm over right knee. Place right hand on right hip. Bring hands together in the prayer position to the right of your knee rather than leaning on your leg. Right elbow is pointing up. Press left arm into right knee, stretch back, bring shoulder blades up and back. Turn upper body to the right. Straighten left leg backwards. Bring left hand to floor and raise right arm straight up. Lengthen your neck, shoulders away from the ears. Lengthen the spine on each inhale, and deepen twist each exhale. Hold for 3-5 breaths. To come out, bring down raised arm, lower back knee to floor and repeat on other side.

Benefits: Strengthens and stretches legs, groin, hamstrings, shoulders, and spine. Opens the chest.
Contraindications: headache, uncontrolled high or low blood pressure. lower back, knee, or neck injury (keep head in neutral position if you have neck problems.)

 

 

Revolved TriangleRevolved Triangle Pose (Parvritta Trikonasana) View


Bedgin in Warrior II. Straighten front leg (right leg). Square hips towards front. Twist to the right. Bring the left hand to outside of right foot. If this causes strain, bring left hand to block or inside of left foot. Lift right arm up, gaze towards right fingertips. Breathe and extend in all directions. Repeat on the other side. 

Benefits: Strengthen legs. Stretches hips, groins, hamstrings, and muscles around spine. Opens chest and shoulders. Improves balance.
Contraindications: headache, uncontrolled high or low blood pressure. lower back, knee, or neck injury (keep head in neutral position if you have neck problems.)

 

 

Extended Triangle

Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana) View


Begin in tadasana (above). Widen stance, stepping 3 to 4 feet apart. Turn right foot out 90 degrees, rotating right thigh outward. Turn left foot inward slightly to a 45 degree angle. Distribute weight evenly over both feet. Keep legs straight, elongate torso continuing to face forward. Raise arms parallel to the floor and reach through the fingertips. Reaching strongly shift torso to the right while shifting hips to the left. Hinging at the hips, lean to the right, bringing right hand to rest on mat or block by right foot, or on leg according to flexibility. Stretch left arm up, bring gaze to raised hand. Draw right shoulder back, spiral chest outward. Breathe and extend in all directions. To come out, press into feet, raising torso upright, hands down to sides. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Stretches and strengthens leg muscles from ankles to hips, knees, abdominals, obliques, shoulders, chest, spine. Stimulates abdominal organs (improving digestion and elimination).
Contraindications: low blood pressure, heart conditions, headache, neck problems (keep head in neutral position if you have neck problems.)