Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Twisting Twist

Twisting exercises may look quirky, but don't be fooled by their peculiar appearance. Twists are very powerful exercises and one of the most beneficial for the body. There is a great number of twists and variations in yoga, making it easy to pick and choose according to the individual need and physical capability. It is a good idea to do about three different twists during a yoga workout.

Why twist?
First, twisting either from the lower or upper back is good for the internal organs and the liver in particular. The liver is usually far too overworked to function properly. Organs, just like us, get stressed out too. Stress often leads to prolonged underperforming, causing serious health problems, also in younger people. Twisting releases stress gathered in the stomach area and prevents degeneration of the organs.
Second, twisting also releases stress and tension in the back. Sedentary lifestyle causes all sorts of back issues, most of which could be prevented if the back was kept mobile. Twisting exercises are excellent for keeping the back supple and healthy.
Third, twisting is known to clear the skin. The skin, especially on the face, reflects how well or badly the internal organs function. As twisting cleanses the digestive organs and detoxifies the digestive system from impurities, the complextion becomes clearer and rosier as a result.

Twist and breathe
If you are a novice yoga practitioner, it is best to start with the most basic twist and build up slowly from there. Under no circumstances should you bind (as I am showing on the photo). Binding deepens the twist greatly and can injure the unprepared body. I have heard of people cracking their ribs and dislocating their backs. I didn't bind the first three years of practising yoga. There is no rush.
Breathing plays a vital part in twisting. Breathe deeply into the stomach to relax it. It may not be very easy physically, but it is vital that you do. Stay in poses at least 5 deep breaths.

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