Twist asanas benefits you need to know about
Twist asanas benefits are continuously mentioned by yoga teachers since they focus on the spine, the most important part of our body. Standing or sitting twist asanas are part of most yoga practices. They can go from subtle twists to asanas that look hard to decipher of such complexity.
Twists complement forward bends and backbends and tone up the muscles. The axial compression of the spine is what results in benefits for the back. During twists, the base keeps stable and resists the movement, unlike a rotation, when the base follows the movement. That’s what makes twists more beneficial, as we are going to learn further on this article.
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Twist asanas benefits: pose examples
Before we go deep into the twist asanas benefits, let’s understand better what a twist is.
In the list of most famous twists, we have the seated poses Marichyasana A, B, C, and D; Matsyandhrasana, and Arda Matsyendrasana; standing Parivrtta Utkatasana, Parivrtta Trikonasana; and lying Supta Matsyendrasana. These are merely some examples, the amount of existing twists is much bigger.
What is common to all of these asanas?
- The main action is to create space between the vertebrae;
- The arms can be used as levers, but it’s important that the main movement of twisting comes from the core;
- The focus is the thoracic area instead of the lower back;
- Keep the ribs inside the torso.
Twist asanas benefits
Understanding better the actions and goals of twist asanas, we can now explore the benefits of these poses.
- The axial compression of the spine and side structures improves the nutrition of intervertebral discs, keeping the spine healthy.
- Squeezes the blood from internal organs from the abdomen and pelvis, improving blood circulation.
During our daily life, the movements we perform, don’t usually include twisting. Most of the time, we stand up, walk, sit or lay down. The twists squeeze our blood from the organs, and when we go back to the normal position, the organs suck new blood that purifies these organs.
- Detox the internal organs;
- Massages and tones up the vital organs, promoting health;
- Releases tension from the waist and ribs;
- Promotes diaphragm mobility, and lungs health, helping with breathing.
The breathing opens and the mind finds balance and calm in these asanas. Twists asanas benefits are the best when we look to the influence in our autonomic nervous system, especially in the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve has a calming and relieving effect both in body and mind, being an energizer for both mind and body. It’s also connected with the chakras.
The vagus nerve goes from the brain to the spinal cord and ends in the solar plexus, being for that reason related to all the seven centers of energy through its connection with the multiple sympathetic nerve plexuses of the body. Being twists so influential to the vagus nerve, it interferes with our centers of energy.
Twists asanas benefits include a positive influence in all our energy centers, especially, to the heart chakra, Anahata Chakra.
A complete yoga sequence must include some twist asanas. If you are designing your own practice, make sure to add some twist poses and benefit from it!
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