April is a big time of transition in nature. We go from the cold, dryness of winter to the heavy, wetness of spring – the heavy rain fall, the soggy ground, and the general sluggishness we may feel during this time. A perfect time to detox, we often hear of people going on cleanses to release the winter build up from the body. Combine your food cleanse with movement, and you’re cleansing even further.

IMG_5588 editIn yoga, we experience the benefits of spinal twist, not only for flexibility, but for all the organs in our body: the liver, kidney, pancreas, even the lungs, all benefit from the simple art of twisting. Like folding a garden hose to cut off the water supply, twisting cuts off the circulation of vital fluid to the organs of our body. Once we unfold the hose, or untwist in our body’s case, fresh fluid rushes through the organs, moving all stagnant energy out of the way.

When incorporating twists in to your yoga practice, it’s always best to work with the natural flow of the digestive system. Twist to the right first, working the ascending colon, then take a moment to neutralize the spine before twisting to the left, the descending colon.

Ardha-Matsyendrasana1Here are some quick tips to remember when twisting:

  • Keep the pelvis fixed in a neutral position facing forward. The twist should come from the thoracic (mid) spine as we rotate the rib cage to one side. If the pelvis moves with the shoulders, it becomes a turn and the organ work gets missed
  • Breathe deeply through the twist and aim to send your breath past the point of rotation. Not only will this create more space and relaxation for your body, it will nourish your blood with fresh oxygen, which is important when we unfurl.
  • Untwist slightly on each inhale to allow for a deeper twist on the exhale
  • Always think of lifting your chest up through a twist to maintain safe alignment and optimal benefit

Always incorporate a variety of twists in your practice, including standing, seated, and lying down. For balance purposes, always move your spine in all directions in your yoga practice: folding forward, extending back, stretching side to side, and of course, twisting.

Get your body ready for spring with my Spring Detox Vinyasa at Paul Galloro Wellness. Click here for more detail and to register!