Twist me please
Twists are one of my favourite types of postures. As someone with severe scoliosis, twists are life savers as they eliminate a great deal of back pain for me. They usually involve your hips and shoulders facing opposite directions. There are various kinds that involve the upper, middle and lower spine (although movement in our lower spine is limited).
Below are some reasons I love twists:
1. Stimulate circulation and improve digestive function
When in a twist, you compress your digestive organs which causes a lack of circulation. When you release your twist, a rush or fresh blood brings fresh oxygen and nutrients to your digestive organs. So essentially, the fresh blood improves the ability of your digestive organs to function.
2. Maintain normal spinal rotation
Unless you lengthen muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia (connective tissues) to their full length a few times a week, over time they will shorten and limit the mobility of nearby joints.
If you twist regularly, you maintain and aid the resilience and length of the soft tissue (fascia) around the spine, abdomen, rib cage, and hips. You also help to maintain the health of the discs and facet joints according to yogajournal.com.
Personally, I don't want to lose full range of my spinal motion. Not now. Not Ever! I want to be able to do what I can do now and more until my time is up.
3. Reduction in back pain
Whether you sit at a desk for hours, slouch on the sofa watching TV, or hunch over young kids or your garden, you unwittingly put pressure on your back. Twisting releases this pressure by stretching and strengthening the muscles in your back.
This is exactly what I needed last week when my back seized up (locked) three times in one day. Rather than rush off to a chiropractor or physical therapist, I did a lot of twisting (as well as 3-4 other yoga positions) and within 3 days, I am happy to say that my back pain had disappeared!
4. Release stress
Twists are wonderful if you have stress or anxiety. This is because they open your chest, shoulders and back releasing anxiety and tension. Hold a twist for quite some time with slow rhythmic breathing and you will feel that 'ahhh' relaxation flood your body when you untwist yourself..