This week´s Yoga Recipe is a bit of a rinse out in celebration of Mercury going direct (last weekend) as well as the clocks going back an hour for some of us, and hopefully the “winning” of an extra hour (in bed or elsewhere). Pleased.
A seated twist and optional hamstring-outer hip- stretch-kind-of-thingy (official name, obviously).
Twists can be a really nice way to bring things back into balance. Like pressing a kind of reset button on things.
Physically, we might find that due to their asymmetry, we are shown or realise that we are more different from one side to another. I guess I talk about the fact that we can´t always expect our actions on one side compared to the other to be the same, or even in size, feeling or duration. The body isn´t symmetrical plus there can be stuff that´s logged into our body as a memory that might inhibit us feeling even through both sides (e.g. if you´re one of those folks who have carried a bag on one shoulder for the last 20 years…yep i´m talking about myself…) It´s also anatomically understandable that twists are not so easy to breathe in as we need one side of us to compress so that the other side may create space.
Hopefully though, this is a mellow rinse and you can (as always) adjust your seasoning to your desired preference. Also, I like to add a bit of a hamstring and outer hip party to this particular table of twisting. It´s optional so play, feel and explore what works for you.
Before you begin, it´s nice to have a seat and take a few even breaths to “arrive” in your body and at your practice.
- Sitting on the floor, with both knees bent, feet hip width distance apart and a little way from your bottom. Use this opportunity to start to “ground” through your feet. Feel free to try the MJ lean swag move but seated as described here feeling into the shape and outline of your feet.
- Reach your right arm around your knees and if possible take your right hand around the outside of your left knee or anywhere you can grip that´s comfortable. Place your left fingertips behind you with the fingers facing away
- As you inhale, press into your seat and let that lengthen your spine upwards, beyond your crown. Because you are royalty.
- As you exhale, begin to rotate your chest to the left, using your left fingertips to support you, your right hand to help rotate you and your feet to resist the lower body from moving. Keeping the feet where they are will keep your hips in position which is a really nice and supportive way to get a good twist with the ground as support.
If this feels like a nice price, stay there and breathe as you can. If you feel you have space to deepen, you can keep using the breath to help you twist, inhaling and lengthening, exhaling and twisting.
- If you feel you want to go a little deeper, you can take your right hand to the outside of your left foot. Imagine your foot is still pressing into the floor though. This will help you begin to press the foot away and into the air. Don´t worry if the leg doesn´t straighten, you can keep the knee bent. Just let it feel good and be wherever you´re at. To come out, begin to bend your left knee deeply and set the foot to the ground
- Slowly unravel, and pause to feel before moving to the other side.