When you want to calm down and regain your inner balance, you want to pick a balance exercise to practice. Due to the level of concentration it requires not to fall, and due to the slowed down breathing to help focusing, you slow down cortisol release and relax your adrenal glands.
Do it in the evenings or after stressful meetings.
This position is good for beginners, too, because it’s far more easier than it looks, yet, it’s so impressive that it quickly gives you pride and satisfaction. Here while balancing you are stretching your quads, twisting your spine, opening your hips and chest all at the same time, that has benefits for your entire body.
Twists are releasing tension. According to Hatha Yoga traditions it’s because as we are wringing out the body in a twist, we are wringing out all fluids from the twisted parts, that will suddenly be flooded with nutrients as we release the twist. Therefore twists are said to be deeply cleansing and nourishing.
Twists are a way of stretching, so you enjoy benefits of stretching, too. When long term, unconscious compression or contraction sets in, microcirculation is diminished and those areas will be malnourished sort of dried up. By stretching your back you improve mobility and circulation around the spine, you release tension in the neck, shoulders, hips and abdominal organs that will improve your circulation and energy flow.
Because every nerve in the body stems and originates from the spinal cord, when twisting your spine you rejuvenate and revitalise every part of the body.
Twists have another unique benefit on the spine. Not only because they are immobilising and nourishing the spine by stretching the muscles of the core and lower back, but they also strengthen the small muscles that link the vertebrae, keeping the whole structure from base to crown free and mobile.
As the trunk rotates, the kidneys and abdominal organs are activated in this position which results in improved digestion.
Two things to keep in mind when you practice twists, first always lengthen your spine before twisting. Lengthening creates space between the vertebrae making it safer and deeper. And it’s good to wring yourself out in a twisting posture one side and before doing the same on the other side relax for a few moments to experience the benefits. Feel yourself flooded with nourishment first then repeat the twist on the other side as well.
- Start in a kneeling lunge with your left leg forward and right knee down.
- It may be easier to grab the right toes if you swing your weight little forward while raising the right foot.
- When you found your balance, lengthen your spine and rotate your shoulders and chest keeping hold on the right toes. Draw your right shoulder blade down to keep your shoulder from lifting and neck muscles off.
- When you feel safe, raise your left hand and take three long, deep breaths.
Gently come back straight, pause a bit to enjoy the refreshed blood flow in your body and repeat it on the other side.
If you find balance challenging, begin with the left side of your body braced against a wall, so you can lean into it when needed. For added comfort, place a folded towel or mat under your back knee.