Typically when you hear the word “detox” in the context of yoga you think twists. There are many benefits of spinal twists when they are practiced regularly and mindfully. Spinal twists strengthen, lengthen, and relax the spinal muscles, aid digestion, relieve back pain, encourage lymph and blood flow, and overall lend to a more flexible and mobile spine.
At a recent training with my teacher, Baron Baptiste, I was reminded of the phrase, "you are only as old as your spine is." So while your intention for practicing twists may be to age gracefully or to be able to pass gas (yes this is a benefit of spinal twists), you will receive the many detoxifying benefits. It’s similar to wringing out a wet sponge. All the excess that builds up inside of us has the opportunity to be released out whether it be stress or sweat. When you add heat, breath, and muscle-to-bone action while in the twist the detoxing benefits are amplified.
Here are my top 5 detox poses you can easily practice at home or in your next yoga class:
- revolved crescent lunge
- chair twist
- side crow
- revolved triangle
- supine twist
When you practice these poses, focus on your feet as the foundation, especially for standing twists. From a solid foundation, you are able to access the spine. I recommend inhaling to lengthen the spine and then twisting on the exhale. Hold these poses for 3-5 breaths and then switch sides. Unsure on how to attempt these poses? I recommend referencing the following:
Lastly, a long luxurious supine twist following a vigorous vinyasa flow is always a good idea. So take some time at the end of class and allow yourself to bliss out with one last twist before you surrender into savasana.
By Suzy Aragon; All Rights Reserved @2018