Let Loose

Twist to unwind - makes sense to any seasoned yoga student, but to really maximize on the potential effects of a twist, turn your attention inward. Get ingot he pose and start with what you know, the actions within the alignment, and the necessary props. Pause and bring your attention to your breath - where does it go. Are there patterns of held tension that are unnecessary. Can you use your exhale to "give away what you do not need." This is really what you are starting with. Now push into the floor with the parts of your body in contact with the floor, lift the ribs and find more twist possible from the give of the waistline first, and then, patiently, with each exhale, find f there is more opportunity to continue with twist that comes from the middle of the ribcage and then hight up the spine into the shoulders. Don't force anything, enjoy the journey and keep using your breath to learn about "you." Inhale to come out of the twist. Pause and notice the residue of having practiced with the first side. Reposition and, with an exhale, ease into the twist on the other side. As you inhale and come out, sit comfortably or lie in svanasana (corpse pose) and notice the extra length of the spine, the freedom/depth of your breath and the sense of being a little bit lighter. Twists help us wring out the organs, release tension in both the larger superficial muscles of the back as well as the smaller muscles closer to the vertebrae. There is more space for the discs and nerves as we come out of a twist, more freedom of movement for the spine and ribcage, a detoxification of the organs, and more freedom of mind as well. Twist train us to recognize our patterns of held tension if we pay attention, so we learn to do without this unnecessary baggage. The result - freedom and joy!

Poses to practice - any twist! Don't rush the experience and let your breath lead you.

Oils to use: A combination of peppermint and any citrus oil.