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Yoga

Twist Sequence Jun 28, 2014

Twist Sequence

What is a Yoga Twist Asana?
The Twist is any yoga asana (pose) that involves turning the shoulder and the neck to one side while keeping the pelvic area fixed, thereby creating a torsional twist on the upper body. There are specific asanas that focus the twist on either the upper, middle or lower torso. Twists can be done seated, standing, lying down or balancing on the head. Twists are effective because they go deep into the body's core.

Benefits of the Twist

  • digestive efficiency - twisting the torso is like wringing a wet towel - it compresses the internal and digestive organs, restricting the blood and oxygen flow. When the twist is released, fresh oxygenated blood rushes through with enough pressure to displace stagnant blood, digestive residues and open up collapsed blood vessels. This detoxifies the body and increases blood circulation.
  • spinal flexibility - by twisting, the muscles wrapped around the spine are made flexible and strong, keeping the spine structurally supported with increased range of motion. You are only as young as your spine is flexible.
  • helps prevent back pain - with desk-job people spending a full 8 hours seated behind the desk, a lot of slumping and slouching happens in addition to compressing the lower vertebrae, leading to back pain. A tortional twist keeps these back muscles engaged and optimized.

Do's

  • before executing a seated twist, center and ground the pelvic area first to provide a stable base for the spine
  • inhale, straighten and lengthen the spine first before the twist...exhale on the twist
  • while twisting, visualize the spine extending its length upwards
  • whenever the belly presses itself against the inner thigh on a twist, breathe through your belly, allowing it to expand and press harder on the thigh. This pressure massages the internal organs

Don'ts (Contra Indications)

  • people with herniated spinal discs (also called a slipped disc, is a medical condition in which a tear in the outer ring of a spinal disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings) should only do seated twists and avoid standing twists
  • people with scoliosis should be very careful on the twists. At the slightest discomfort, back off.

Beginning Asanas
Alright, let us begin:

I LIGHT WARM UP STRETCH

downward dog pose Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Let's all find ourselves in Downward Dog, but be easy, we're starting cold here. Just acclimatize into the pose, pedal your heals up and down, bending the knees and moving the hips from side to side. Maybe the heels are still not touching the mat...that's ok. We'll sink slowly into the pose.
standing forward bend, hanging pose Relaxed Standing Forward Bend, Hanging
Let's slowly walk our hands back towards our toes...and let's fold our arms into our elbows, upper body hingeing from the hips. Knees could be slightly bent and we simply do nothing for now...just allowing gravity to do its work. As we stay here, feel the back of the legs loosening up, feel the lower back muscles letting go. Breathe! still mindful of the Bandhas....pulling up the perineal muscle and engaging our abdominals 2 inches below our navel.
forward bend twist Forward Bend Twist
right hand to left angkle, inhale looking up with straight back, exhale pull on the ankle and sink down into a twist. Breathe. Other side....
spine rollup Spine Roll Up
release the arms and on one long inhale, with a rounded back, vertebrae by vertebrae, roll up into standing (Samasthitihi)
knee roll Knee Roll
Let's get our feet together, bending the knees, hands on our knees and let's move our knees in a circular motion clockwise as though we're stirring a big cup of coffee. Breathe. Make the circular motion wider with every turn. Back to center. Other side. Back to center. Inhale come back up to Mountain Pose.
hip roll Hip Roll
Let's get our feet wider than shoulder width, hands on our hips and let's move our hips in a circular motion clockwise as though we're stirring a bigger cup of coffee. Breathe. Make the circular motion wider with every turn. Back to center. Other side. Back to center.
thigh stretch Thigh Stretch
Let's get our feet together, bend the right knee and grab the right ankle with both hands. Exhale and pull the ankle towards your buttocks, keeping the back straight. Breathe. Release and back to center. Other side.
vacuum Vacuum
Let's get our feet wider than shoulder width, inhale lengthen, now exhale, bend the knees and put your hands on the knees, with a straight back. When the lungs are completely empty, engage the Jalandara Bandha to lock the air passage and pull the belly in and up. Hold. Release the belly and inhale coming back up to an upright position. It is very important to release the belly first before the in-breath. Other side. Repeat x times.
vacuumrelease Vacuum and Release Kriya
Let's get our feet wider than shoulder width, inhale lengthen, now exhale, bend the knees and put your hands on the knees, with a straight back. When the lungs are completely empty, engage the Jalandara Bandha to lock the air passage and pull the belly in and up. Release, and pull back again. Release and repeat the process. Release the belly and inhale coming back up to an upright position. It is very important to release the belly first before the in-breath. Other side. Repeat x times.

II STANDING POSES

Standing Sidebend Standing Sidebend (Indudalasana)
Inhale sweeping the arms up and continue reaching up while grounding your feet to the map, shoulders away from the ears. Feel the body pulled in 2 opposite directions. Create length...create space...breathe...and release. Right hand grabbing the left wrist, inhale lengthen, and on the exhale, bend to the right...left foot firmly on the mat, pushing the hips to the left and pulling the left hand to the right. Breathe. Come back to center. Other side.... Come back to Mountain Pose.
tree pose Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
hold for 5 breaths and transition to Hand to Big Toe B without putting the foot down.
Hand to Big Toe B Hand to Big Toe B Pose
from Tree, left hand holds the outer edge of the right foot and extends the right arm to the back. Inhale and extend the right leg forward, lengthening the spine. On the exhale, twist the shoulders to the right and look at your right hand. Hold and breathe. Inhale and come back to center, exhale into Mountain Pose.
Prasarita Padottanasana A Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana A)
stand sideways on your mat, feet one leg length apart, hands on the mat shoulder width apart, between the feet. Inhale look up, lengthen, exhale, bow into a forward bend. Hold and breathe.
Prasarita Padottanasana B Wide-Legged Forward Bend Twist
from Wide-Legged Forward Bend place your left hand on the mat, directly below the chest, back straight. Inhale lift the right shoulder up, reaching up with your right hand. Look at your right hand and breathe. Exhale back to center. Other side. Come up to Mountain Pose.
Utkatasana Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
from Mountain Pose, exhale bend the knees. When the fingers touch the mat, inhale sweeping the arms up into Chair. Hold and breathe.
Parivritta Utkatasana Chair Pose Twist (Parivritta Utkatasana)
from Chair, palms together in front of the chest, inhale straighten the back, and exhale twist to the right, left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Breathe and hold. Other side.

III Warrior Twists

Extended Triangle A Pose Extended Triangle A Pose (Utthita Trikonasana A)
Surya Namaskar until Warrior II. Straighten the leg, inhale reach forward, exhale bend from the hips up, right hand on the ankle or on the outside of the right foot, left hand up. Hold and breathe, looking at the left hand. Release. Other side. Release and lift the body up, arms extended front and back.
Extended Triangle B Pose Extended Triangle B Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
inhale lengthen, and on the exhale, windmill your arms, bending forward, right shoulder and arms to the sky and left hand on the mat, on the outside of the right foot. Look at the right hand. Hold and breathe. Back to Warrior II.
Half Prayer Twist Pose Half Prayer Twist Pose (Ardha Namaskar Parsvakonasana)
from Warrior II, inhale lengthen with a straight spine, on the exhale, left heal up, twist the torso to the right with palms together in front of the chest and hinge down from the hips, placing the left elbow on the outside of the right knee. Hold and breathe. Release and come back to Warrior II, vinyasa and do other side starting from Extended Triangle A Pose. Back to Mountain Pose.

IV Seated Twists

Dandasana Staff Pose (Dandasana)
Surya Namaskar until Downward Dog. Last exhale, look forward and step or jump through to a seated pose, Dandasana - legs active, spine straight, sit bones squared, etc.
Paschimottanasana Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Inhale sweep the arms up. Exhale forward bend on a straight back. Hold and breathe. Inhale come back up to Dandasana.
Marychyasana C Marichi's Pose C (Marychyasana C)
on Dandasana, bend the right leg, knee pointed up. Inhale lengthen, and on the exhale, push the left elbow against the right knee and twist the body to the right. Right hand on the mat for support. Hole and breathe.
Matsyandrasana Half Lord of the Fishes (Matsyandrasana)
from Marychyasana C, bend the left leg under the right knee, left foot tucked-in by the buttocks, right hand on the mat for support. Right foot should be just outside the left knee. With a straight back, inhale and turn the shoulder to the right with left elbow against the right knee (or left hand holds the right foot). Exhale and twist the body further to the right. Look to the back. Breath to the belly, allowing it to expand and press against the inner thigh. Continue breathing. Release and go back into Dandasana. Other side, starting from Marychyasana C. Vinyasa.

V Backbend

Bridge Pose Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
Surya Namaskar until you lie flat on your back. Bend the knees and hold on to your ankles. On the inhale, lift your pelvis up, squeeze your shoulder blades and lift your chest up. Hold and breathe. Release and rest the back to the mat.
Wheel Pose Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
place your palms beside your ears, fingers pointed to the shoulders. On the inhale, push against the mat and lift your pelvis up, then your shoulders and finally your head. Try to keep your arms straight and parralel. Hole and breathe. Release with back flat on the mat.
Paschimottanasana Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Find yourselves into a seated pose. Inhale sweep the arms up. Exhale forward bend on a straight back. Hold and breathe. Inhale come back up to Dandasana. That's a counterpose to Wheel.

VI Arm Balancing

Hamsasana Pose Swan Pose (Hamsasana)
(done on an empty stomach, not a twist but great for digestion, used as preparatory pose for Mayurasana) Kneel down with wide knees, palm edge lightly touching each other and pressed against the mat, pointed to the toes. Elbows are pressed against the abdomen. On the inhale, try to activate your abdomen, keeping the body straight from the heels to the top of the head, supported only by the toes and the palms. Hold and breathe.
Side Crane Pose Side Crane Pose (Parsva Bakasana)
(advanced and optional) on Malasana, get both knees together and rest them on top of the left upper arm. On the inhale, move the body forward, shifting the weight from the back to front. The toes will lift. Keep the balance. Hold and breathe. Other side.

VII Partner Twists

Twist Sequence
Seated Twist
Twist Sequence
Extended Triangle
Twist Sequence
Forward Bend
Twist Sequence
Padmasana

VIII Lying Down Twists

  • Revolved Abdomen Pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)
  • Bryan Kest Reclining Twist

IX Savasana

--- TheLoneRider

Yoga-Sequence Series

Gen San Blogs by TheLoneRider

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Jun 28, 2014

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