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How Yoga twists relieve the spine

Basically, yoga twisting postures have an activating and releasing effect: they invigorate the entire body, stimulate the metabolism and release tension in the back and shoulder muscles. Even on a chair at home, yoga twisting postures can be adopted. A welcome and beneficial change for our spine.

Turning with a chair: Turn from a stable base, i.e. feet firmly on the floor, outer edges of the feet parallel to each other. The thighs should be hip-width apart, the sitting bones firmly on the seat. The arms and hands support the rotation. Depending on the ability, the head can also be rotated, but the rotation of the spine around its own axis is more important. Attention: A straight spine rotates easier and better and the chest must be lifted before each rotation. Rotation takes place with each exhalation.



Intense spins have a strong heating effect on the entire organism


Closed twists like Pashasana, see below, generate heat in the body. They intensively strengthen and massage the digestive organs (liver, kidney) and thus stimulate detoxification and the metabolism as a whole. With a chair, it is also possible for less advanced yoga practitioners to get into these more intense twists and feel the effect.



Why do rotations have a relieving effect?


The deeper back muscles lie directly on the spine and stabilise, above them are the superficial back muscles. The longitudinal torso muscles enable movements forwards, backwards and sideways. The diagonally running muscles control rotational movements. These muscles can be divided into two groups depending on their fibre course and the strain they are subjected to in daily life:


1. Phasic muscles that allow movement and weaken quickly when underloaded.

2. Retaining, also called tonic muscles, which tend to tense up. For example, if you sit at a desk for a long time and stare at the screen - incorrect strain - then the neck muscles have to hold the head in a certain position for a longer period of time, the basic tension of the muscles increases and becomes tense.


For these retaining muscles, which are currently doing more than our locomotor muscles - since the outbreak of the pandemic, every second German moves 50-70% less in everyday life and sits more instead - rotations, gently performed, have the effect of a massage.

Just try it out and send any questions to yoga@claudiyengar.com, thank you!


More about relieving the spine, shoulders and neck in my new

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Claudia Lamas Cornejo is a independent PR manager and freelance journalist as well as an Iyengar Yoga practitioner and teacher. Her project "Iyengar Yoga Blog" aims to shed light on topics related to the study and practice of yoga, to give practice tips and to let different voices of the Iyengar Yoga community have their say:

www.claudiyengar.com/blog