Twists - Yogic Detox

Want a revolution for your life? Revolve your poses! Twists, or revolved poses, can change your perspective in multiple ways. Not only do you receive an excellent stretch, but you explore holding your center as you revolve your body around your spine and change your point of view. You alternately compress one side of the body as you stretch the other, wringing out tissues that may be too used to immobility or overuse. Moving with your deep, rhythmic breath will supercharge your body’s ability to let go of metabolic waste and receive nutrition. On the inhalation, lengthen your spine. As you exhale, hug your abdominal muscles inward and deepen your revolution.

Things you might want to have handy: Yoga Mat, Strap, Blankets, Block

It is recommended to perform the warm-up first, before starting this routine.


Step 1: Starting Position, Staff
Duration: 5 breaths
Pose Review: Staff Pose

Staff pose is to seated postures what Mountain pose is to standing: home base. Sit on your mat with your sitting bones elevated on blankets or block and extend your legs out fully in front of you. Flex your feet and lift your kneecaps. Press your tented fingertips into the mat just behind your hips as you draw your shoulder blades together and lift your sternum, elongating your spine. Breathe.

Step 2: Simple Seated Twist
Duration: 5-7 breaths
Pose Review: Simple Seated Twist

Draw your heels in one at a time, knees resting on the floor so that you are sitting in easy pose. If your knees are not resting on the floor, support them with blankets or blocks so you have a stable foundation and can release the low body towards the floor.

Inhale, lift your arms to shoulder height and lift your heart, feeling the expansiveness of your breath. Exhaling, start to twist to the right from just behind your belly button and follow that motion up your spine as you lower your hands, resting your left hand on the outside of your right knee, and right hand on the floor beside or behind your right hip. Do not press your shoulders farther than you can turn your turn your ribcage. Just enjoy the breath and allow it to deepen your experience of revolution. You may face the same direction as your chest, or turn your head as far as ease allows.

To come out of the pose, inhale and release your hands as you slowly and mindfully draw your abdominals toward your spine and unwind from the bottom up.

Step 3-4:
Repeat other side, from Staff

Step 5: Boat Pose
Duration: 3-5 breaths
Pose Review: Boat Pose

Placing your feet on the ground in front of you with your knees pointed to the ceiling, and lightly holding the back of your thighs just above your knees, draw your pelvic floor and abdominals in and up as you lift your sternum. Lean back only so far as you can maintain your spinal alignment and your sitting bones pressing into the surface beneath you. You may choose to release your hands and reach forward, and extend one or both legs. Breathe fully and deeply into your chest, while you maintain a relaxed, even smiling, face.

Step 6: Boat Pose, variation
Duration: 1 breath, repeat 5 times on each side
Pose Review: Boat Pose

Come forward just enough to release a bit of effort, and place your toes or feet on the ground if they aren’t already. Reach your arms out to your sides in a big “T” and exhaling, rotate to your right beginning from the lowest part of the spine. Inhale back to center. Repeat to the opposite side.

Step 7: Cobra
Duration 3-5 breaths
Pose Review: Cobra Pose

Roll forward to a tabletop position and lower yourself through chest, chin and knees, mindfully, to the floor. We’ll release the abdominal effort with the moderate backbend of cobra. With your hands beneath your shoulders and your elbows back beside your ribs, on an inhale draw your palms isometrically back and feel your chest broaden and your sternum draw forward. Exhaling, begin the upward and backward lift with the muscles of your back, lifting your ribcage away from your pelvis and up and then pressing into your hands only so far as you can maintain a lifted belly, tailbone drawn toward your feet and a strong, easy low back. Keep the neck neutral and the face and gaze soft.

Step 8: Garland
Duration 3-5 breaths
Pose Review: Garland Pose

On an exhalation, release gently to the ground and press back to child’s pose. Turn your toes under and walk your hands back until you are in a low squat with your hands together in prayer position in front of your sternum and your elbows and knees pressing one another. Lift through your core.

Step 10: Garland, variation
Duration: 1 breath, repeat 5 times
Pose Review: Garland Pose

Inhale, lift your sternum. Exhale, turn to your right as you place your left hand on the ground or a block in front of you and reach your right hand either toward the ceiling or around behind your back to your opposite thigh. Inhale back to center and repeat on the opposite side.

Step 11: Low Lunge
Duration: 5 breaths
Pose Review: Low Lunge

Reach forward to a tabletop position and inhale once into cow and exhale arching into cat before coming back to neutral, inhaling and drawing the right foot forward by the right hand. Inhaling, wave the spine up as you lift your heart and your hands to front knee. Engage your core and shift forward only so far as your hips stay level and forward. Breathe.

Step 12: Low Lunge, variation
5 breaths
Pose Review: Low Lunge

Exhaling, reach down the floor with your left hand, twisting from behind the belly first, and then extending the twist up your spine as you reach your right arm toward the sky or around behind your back. Your right knee stays over your foot, with all four corners of your foot pressing into the ground.

Step 13-14:
Repeat 11-12 on the other side

Step 15: Straddle Forward Bend Twist

Duration: 3-5 breaths each side
Pose Review: Straddle Forward Bend Twist

Lift your right knee off the ground as you shift your weight back and turn to face the long edge of your mat without coming all the way up.  Remember to hug your abdominal and pelvic muscles toward midline, supporting a neutral, long spine. Place your left hand on the floor in front of you, under your chest, as you inhale and lengthen your ribcage away from your pelvis. Exhaling, revolve to your right, reaching your right arm up or behind your back. Rest your gaze directly in front of your face, wherever your neck is most happy and at ease. Exhale back to center and repeat on the other side.

Step 16: Reclining Big Toe Pose
Duration: 15 breaths each side
Pose Review: Reclining Big Toe Pose

Coming back to center, bend your knees and walk your feet in before coming to sit on your mat. Lower your torso mindfully so that you are reclining on your mat, looking at the ceiling. Draw your right knee in and either interlace your fingers behind your knee or place a strap over the arch of your right foot. Inhale and move the thigh a little away from your body, exhale and extend through the heel of your foot, moving toward straightening your leg. If you are able to fully extend your leg, engage your thigh muscles to keep from hyperextending and draw your leg a little closer to your body with each exhalation for 5 exhalations. Wherever you are, imagine your hamstring lengthening with each exhalation.

On your next exhalation, transfer the strap or just support your leg with your right hand alone, and while pressing your pelvis into the ground equally on both sides, lower your right leg out to your right side. Your foot remains flexed and your toes are pointed a bit down to the floor. Extend your left hand out to your left side. Breathe here for 5 breaths.

On your next inhalation, draw your leg back to center and transfer the strap or your leg to your left hand. Exhale and lower your right leg to the left side of the body. This time your right hip will come off the floor and stack on top of your left. Maintain muscular engagement in your left leg, just as if you were standing on it. Reach your right hand out to your right side and feel the wringing of this deep twist. After 5 breaths, press your belly back to draw your leg back up. Hug your leg in, extend along the ground. Repeat on the other side.


Perform the relaxation sequence to complete this routine.

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