THINK of what happens when you squeeze out a sponge, the dirty water is strained out, and the sponge can be used all over again to soak up clean water.
Twisting the body in yoga works in a similar way. The abdominal organs get a squeeze during twists, stimulating the kidneys and liver, and forcing out toxins. When the twists are released, fresh, clean blood enters the organs nourishing the cells in nutrients and oxygen. So simple twists can have a cleansing, refreshing effect on the abdominal organs and the associated glands.
This position is a deep and challenging yoga twisting pose and best done when the body is warmed up.
- Sit on a yoga mat, with the body forming a right angle, the pelvis should be balanced equally on the two sitting bones with extended spine and legs. Try sitting on a stack of neatly-folded blankets.
- Next bend the right leg placing the right foot on the floor with the heel as close to the right buttock as possible, the left leg is actively extended .
- Reach the right hand behind you with the fingers in contact with the floor, giving a little balance.
- When doing any yoga twisting pose it is important to first achieve the maximum space between the spinal vertebrae, and keep this extended throughout the pose. Inhale and, as you exhale, twist the torso to the right and bend the left arm.
- If possible, place the elbow of the bent left arm into the outer crook of the bent right knee. If you cannot twist enough to position the elbow in the outer knee without losing the aligned posture and extended spine, hold onto the outer right knee with the fingers of the left hand.
- Twist by revolving the spine and turning the soft belly toward the bent right leg. As you work in the pose, be mindful of your spinal extension and of your alignment.
Lee Kennedy has a Yoga-teaching Diploma from the YTTC and an Iyengar-teaching Certificate from BKS Iyengar Yoga UK. She also specialises in natural birth with yoga and Thai yoga massage. For current local and private classes, phone 086 3906343.