Twisting postures can release tension and tightness in your abdominal region as well as encourage spinal mobility. The movement is also effective to help tone your abdominal muscles and relieve lower back pain. Also, twisting positions stimulate blood and oxygen flow that encourage healthy digestion. The spinal twist can be done in a seated position or in a reclining position.
Seated Spinal Twist
Start in a seated position on the floor. Sit up tall with your legs crossed. You want to be sure you experience a full length in your spine for an effective and safe rotation. Place your left hand on your right knee; position your right hand on the floor behind you. As you inhale, press your right hand into the ground to help fully extend your spine. As you exhale, gently rotate your torso toward the right side of the room. Take another full breath in to maintain the length in your back. Exhale and twist a little bit more. Take these rotations in small increments so as not to over-rotate. Even a 30 degree rotation is effective at achieving the benefits listed above. There’s no need to push or force your body into these twisting postures. Hold your spinal twists for at least 10 slow breaths. Once complete, return to centre, then repeat on the other side.
Reclining Spinal Twist
Lie down on the floor and hug your knees into your chest. Take your bent knees over toward the left side of the room while you extend your right arm to the right side. You can guide the depth of the twist by placing your left hand on your legs and gently press toward the floor.
Performing this twist in a lying down position can be more relaxing, allowing your muscles to stretch and release tension. Hold the posture for 10-15 breaths. Return your knees to centre, then perform the rotation on the other side.
If your legs don’t touch when you rotate or if your bent knees don’t reach the ground, you can use a prop to help support your pose. Place a block, pillow, or rolled-up towel between your leg and the floor or between your knees to relax comfortably in this position.