Monday 29th January 11.15a.m.
Yoga Monday 29th January click link to view reel.
Yoga as usual tomorrow, Monday 29th January 11.15a.m. Greasby centre where we will continue to work on twists.
Twists have both a physical effect on the muscles and bones of the spine in addition to metaphysical effects as described in ancient texts of yoga.
Twisting is a movement we make every day but in yoga we are more conscious of the movement, and we move into deeper twists.
During twists we compress soft tissues along the length of the spinal column. Twists helps with the following:
Release tension deep within the structures around the spinal column
Massage the body as we squeeze and release
We should ensure that in the beginning the twist is not too deep and only move deeply as the integrity of the pose is developed along with inner awareness.
Modern physical benefits:
“Twisting poses connect the lower and upper appendicular skeletons (the arms and the legs) to turn the axial skeleton (the spine and torso). This lengthens the spinal rotator muscles that attach from one vertebra to another, as well as the erector spinae, quadratus lumborum, and abdominal musculature.” Yoga Mat Companion 3: Back Bends & Twists by Ray Long, MD FRCSC
Dr Long describes the anatomical effects of twisting on the spine and I believe ancient texts in their description of the metaphysical are saying the same in a different way - that is, twists are energising to our whole being and assisting in maintaining health throughout the body via strong bones and muscles, a balanced nervous system, and a strong digestive system.
Ancient texts view:
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the practice of matsyendrasana (seated twist, half lord of the fishes) stimulates the digestive fire, destroys the entire range of deadly diseases, awakens kundalini shakti (the latent energy of consciousness).
All twists will stimulate the digestion and digestive fire (agni) and a strong digestive system moves energy around the body therefore the claim to destroy a range of deadly diseases may be difficult to understand in modern life but to understand what the digestive system does for the whole body in terms of nourishing it and how a compromised digestive system can affect the health of the whole being makes more sense as to how the stimulation of twisting can strengthen the digestive system through the massaging effect upon it and a stronger digestion means less possibility of toxic material being left in the body to spread to other vital organs.
In conclusion, twists help to keep the spine strong and flexible, and a strong and flexible spine assists in keeping a body healthy, energy moving around the body efficiently, waste eliminated efficiently, and the nervous system balanced via the stimulation to the spine.
But as in all yoga asana gaining the mental and spiritual benefits of twists, consideration should be given to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the sutra: 2.64: sthira-sukham asanam, = a steady, comfortable seat. In all poses we should be comfortable in body, breath and mind and maintaining a pose without effort or distraction to the body, breath, and mind. In this way we can become absorbed in the pose and the effects on the whole being.
Enjoy twisting, breathing, and keeping in balance this week.
Meditation click link to listen to this short talk on - Can meditation make you feel worse?
I’ve included this because twists stimulate the whole being, including the mind, therefore it is normal for the mind to feel as if meditation is getting worse not better as things are stirred up within. Enjoy and know you are not alone!