Fitness

Yoga: Twisting Our Way to Health

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Yoga is an optimal way of keeping our body limber, strong and healthy.  Practicing yoga twisting poses can play a role in maintaining the health of our bodies.  Twists require the work of the abdominal muscles, spine, neck, shoulders and pelvis they help to bring movement to the spine, release tension along the spinal column, stimulate our organs, improve digestion, and help to strengthen the musculature of the upper back and spine.  Each twist improves the strength and flexibility in all of these areas but also while compressing and stretching the mid-torso, where the adrenals, kidneys, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, spleen and stomach are located, stimulates their function, and  the absorption, digestion, and elimination of the intestines.  One of the great things about twisting poses is you don’t need to be flexible to get the benefits they give. By stimulating the internal organs, detoxification is inevitable.

Just like a sponge, twisting the body through yoga wrings toxins and tension from the body. The twisting action helps muscles to relax and increases blood flow to areas of the body involved in the pose, which allows nutrients to flow more freely.  Twisting poses are a great way to create fresh oxygenated blood flowing through our body and to help get the lymph move a little quicker.  During twisting poses, the organs are compressed, pushing out blood filled with metabolic by-products and toxins. When we come out of a twist, fresh blood flows in, carrying oxygen and the building blocks for tissue healing.  Physiologically, twists stimulate circulation and have a cleansing effect on the torso organs and associated glands.

So as you can read, twisting poses are phenomenal for us and we should do a twist a day to de-stress and remove any stagnant bi-products and waste from our body, creating a healthier spine.  However, know that proper alignment is key to not hurting yourself.  Remember when twisting to always elongate the spine by sitting up tall and lengthening through the torso. Use your abdomen and exhalation to guide the twist instead of using your arms to push. You can practice twisting poses anywhere really so why not begin now?  It can’t hurt, and if anything will help you gain flexibility in your spine, detox those organs and get things moving out of your body quicker all the while providing fresh blood in your body. Happy twisting!

(Photo Credit: yoganonymous.com, yogajournal.com)

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