- Root down – in sitting twists, anchor down your sitting bones to ensure that your spine remains supported during the twist. In lying twists, it is often the shoulders that remain rooted to the floor and in standing twists, the hips should be kept level and core strongly engaged.
- Lengthen the spine – to create space for your vertebrae to move freely, always start a twist by inhaling and lengthening through your spine from your tailbone to the crown of your head.
- Easy on the neck - Our necks are designed to be able to twist easily but it can be tempting to get further into a twist by straining the neck a little further to feel like we are doing “better”. A twist is for the whole spine, so start your twist in your hips imagine each part of the spine twisting an equal amount to produce a lovely, even twist through the whole length of your back. Always make sure your neck is a little bit soft and relaxed and always release your neck first when you release from a twist.
- Inhale to lengthen, exhale to soften – hold a twist only as long as it is comfortable and allow yourself to soften and relax further into the twist every time you breathe out. Use the breath to help keep you aligned and help you twist deeper and deeper.
- Enjoy – twists refresh organs like squeezing out a sponge. When you release the twist, those organs fill back up with fresh blood, or in the case of the spine and it’s discs, fresh cerebro-spinal fluid. This can produce quite a rush, a sense of warmth or a feeling of being awake and refreshed, so try to become still and observe your body and mind awhile before twisting to the other side.
(adapted from Do the Twist, C.Cummins, yogamagazine.com)