Spinal Twists in Yoga and Qigong Benefit the Body

Our spine is the axis in which our body is supported between heaven and Earth. It allows us the mobility and freedom to move and express ourselves. Our arms and legs extend from this beautiful stack of vertebrae that are tenderly placed one on top of the other. The spine is a work of art and sheer mechanics at the same time.

Keeping the spine supple, maintaining its alignment and its straight form to live actively and pain-free are great goals. They may require a bit of effort but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Stiff spines will loosen over time!

When we perform spinal twists we are releasing trapped energy along the spinal column. After we have twisted to engage the body/back, we breathe to clear the old energy out. Think of collecting the old energy with the movement and releasing it with the breath. Instantaneously you feel more open and at ease. Like wringing out a wet towel.

Check with your doctor first. Move with total awareness of the area you are engaging and stop if there is sharp pain.

Being mindful and connected to the area you are engaging is the objective of any yoga posture or practice.

The benefits of spinal twists are immense:
• Increased flexibility
• Increased circulation
• Increased energy
• Digestion
• Strengthen the muscles through breath and repetition.

When our spine is not healthy we may not be able to feel comfortable or able to move with ease. We can slowly improve the spine with conscious spinal twists and lessen back pain or discomfort.

Qigong Spinal Twists:

Try standing feet hip width distance apart take your arms with fists or simple palms for your hand positions.

Begin with moving the right arm in front, left in back as you twist from your foot, ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, neck to the back. The head follows the twist from side to side.

Breath in as palms swing open through middle and out as they collapse on each side.

This should allow for the body to warm slowly and feel wonderful.

In yoga, there are several ways to twist your spine. In seated, or lotus position, on your back.

Spinal Twists on your Back:

First we align the body, legs straight out of hips, and arms straight out of shoulders. Then we lift our left knee into chest use right arm to pull knee in & gently twist right. Close your eyes, relax. Hold & Breath 9 deep breaths into the spine back & hips.

Use the opposite body parts in same order to twist left to open right side.

Once you have twisted to engage the body/back, we send breath to clear the old energy out moving the breath up and down the side of the body that is open.

Spinal Twists in Lotus Position:

In seated yoga, beginning in lotus position, we have our sit bones planted into the Earth. Using the dimes you sit on every day you draw them down to ground you.

Sitting tall we align the spine and shoulders.When you twist left you place your right hand on your left knee and your left hand on your right hip.

Breath in to center, breathe out as you twist. Hold and flow the breath through the posture.

Use opposite structure for right side.

We have a relaxing and fun ways to twist the spine out. This will increase our flexibility and relaxation at the same time. Try to incorporate more spinal twists into your week!

  1. Marlene

    Hi this is great information. I grind my teeth at nights, any exercises or stretches you recommend before bedtime to help me with this issue.



  2. low diet

    I like your article, it is clear and useful information

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