Start by sitting sideways on a chair with one side of your torso facing the back of the chair. Take the palm of one hand under the sitz bone (ischial tuberosity) closest to the chair and pulling it straight back. Basically under one side of the butt. If you look at your upper legs one will be shorter than the other. Now do it on the other side so the knees are even. What happens is an anterior pelvic tilt with the pubis going down and the sitz bones coming up putting you into a neutral spine with the shoulders over the hips. Give one more butt pull on the side next to the chair back only to take the hips out of alignment a little with the inside hip back slightly more than the outside hip. This is for safety, when twisting it helps reduce the chance of injury where the sacrum and the vertebra meet.
Next push the hands into the thighs getting as much length in your spine before beginning the twist. This puts distance between each vertebra so that the disks are not so compressed going into the twist. Now turn the upper torso (shoulders and chest) toward the back of the chair and grab the top or sides of the back of the chair moving gently deeper into the twist.
WARNING: The back of the chair is like a fulcrum and you can injury yourself by forcing yourself into the twist to deep. Listen to your body and prevent going into pain or discomfort.
If its comfortable turn the head looking toward the shoulder in the direction your twisting or keep the chin in line with the sternum. With every inhalation lengthen your torso with a little more height and on each exhalation relax slightly deeper into the twist.
To come out, slowly release so you don’t experience the rubber band effect.
Benefits of Twisting:
*Massages the internal organs with every breath by moving the organs in the compressed abdomen.
*Twisting wrings out toxins bringing in fresh oxygen and nutrients.
*Improves digestion by compressing the digestive organs working on elimination through massage and the rush of blood to the organs when releasing from the twist.
*Helps loosen and strengthen the muscles around the spine and back increasing range of motion. This can help relieve back pain from the 3-Cs (car, computer and couch) and more where the back becomes tight.
*Helps to open the chest, shoulders and back allowing for more breath to come into the body.
Heed the WARNING above and only twist as deep as feels comfortable to you while maintaining an even smooth breath.
These videos are designed for inactive beginners, seniors, baby Boomers and people with most any illness or injury. The majority of these poses are in a chair and most can be done from a wheelchair. I’ll also be posting these videos on my You Tube Channel “Yoga Chuck” and Facebook page “Yoga Chuck”. All poses should be a No Pain No Pain practice and avoid having discomfort.
How long to hold the pose: If pain is above a 5 on a scale of 0-10, then only hold the pose 10-15 seconds, you can repeat this multiple times. If your pain level is 5 or lower you can hold the pose 30 seconds to 1 minute. Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed. Explanation: If you’re pain level is above a 5 then the muscles are actually tightening to protect themselves, so you will no longer be stretching them. This is why you should come in and out of the pose multiple times in order to get a stretch with pain level above a 5.
Happy & Healthy,