Spinal Twisting Asanas
Spinal twisting is a restorative yoga pose that helps to promote good digestion and encourages spinal mobility. The spine is the central axis around which we balance ourselves; a flexible spine is considered vital for maintaining a healthy body. Twisting our spines makes the spinal column flexible and stimulates spinal nerves. This is the reason why the regular practice of spinal twisting asanas simultaneously relaxes and invigorates our body. Spinal twisting asanas have a great effect on the abdominal muscles and nourish our internal organs. These asanas generally work on the spine, hip, and shoulder areas.
Spinal twisting asanas can do wonders in our bodies. When there is a lack of space in our spines then they tend to slump and our energy level drops down. Through spinal twisting asanas, we can get space between the bones and lengthen our spines. This gives us instant energy lift and energy can flow consistently.
The stretch from this asanas gives the muscles in the lower and mid-back a rotational stretch and has a high benefit in toning muscles. This also helps to detox our bodies. When we twist our spines, it will cut off blood supply to our digestive organs and re-introduce fresh blood to our abdominal organs. This helps to cleanse the cells and any waste inside our bodies.
Some of the spinal twisting asanas with description are listed below:
1. Meru vakrasana ( spinal twist) -1,2,3,4
Meru vakrasana is a beginner-level simple seated yoga pose that provides a gentle spine twist and serves as a bridge to perform other asanas. To practice, this poses you need to sit in dandasana first, legs extended, and twisting your torso in one direction with hands on the ground opposite to the leg and the hip. Meru vakrasana gives a good stretch to the back and can relieve your back pain.
2 . Bhu namasana ( spinal twisting prostration pose)
This Asana especially works on the thoracic vertebrate strengthening the muscles and improving flexibility. To practice this pose you need to extend your legs resting your hands on the thighs. Inhale and exhale placing the palms down on the floor, bending elbows to lower forehead. Don’t lift your buttocks or hips but allow the breath to guide you deeper.
3. Ardha matsyendrasana ( half spinal twist)
This Asana is named after the yogi matsyendrasana. Ardha matsyendrasana should be practiced either in the morning or at least 4-6 gourds before a meal. It tones the spinal nerve and makes it more flexible. This pose is done by sitting erect, bending the heels of the left foot lying it next to the right hip, and placing the right leg to the left knee. After this, you need to twist your waist, neck, and shoulders to the right. Hold this pose inhaling and exhaling your breath.
4. Parivritti Janu sirasana (spiraled head to knee pose)
This pose stretches the hamstring, hips, spines, and relieves back pain. The twisting variation of parivritti Janu sirasana takes the classic forward bent of body to next level. Bend your left knee bringing heels toward groin and ground through the sitting bones extended through the crown of the head. Engage your right leg and twist the upper body to the left as you inhale. People having their knees injured and back pain should avoid this yoga.
Apart from these asanas, astavakrasana, DWI pad koundinyasana, eka pada koindinyasana, Kati chakrasana, Parva sirshana, etc are some other spinal twisting asanas. Continuous practice of this asanas can bring wonders to us. It helps to relieve back pains and strengthen us. This is the reason why they are getting so much hype nowadays. But it may not be a good idea to practice this yoga pose if there is a back injury, if you are pregnant, during mensuration, pressure on sciatic nerves, and spondylitis.