Twists are a movement inherent in daily life, whether you are reaching for something, driving or getting out of bed. But twisting while practicing yoga can be problematic if you are doing it incorrectly. Repeating an incorrect movement can lead to injury and is something about which people with lower back conditions and pain need to stay aware. Use extreme caution with conditions such as osteoporosis, spinal stenosis or herniated lumbar discs. If you have any questions about whether twisting is safe for your body, consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner.
When it comes to the yoga asana practice, there are many opportunities for twists done sitting, standing, balancing and reclining. They are all different, but have one thing in common: the core. A proper twist is done by keeping the spine perpendicular to the pelvis and rotating the rib cage. Problems come when there is side bending or the pelvis moves with the rib cage. If the pelvis comes "along for the ride" in a twisting pose, it can create problems at the sacroilliac joint (SI Joint) which leads to lower back pain. Knowing how to twist properly can be the difference between a beneficial pose and a damaging one.
With reclining twists, many instructors cue to move your pelvis an inch or so to one side then twist in
Twisting properly may take some practice, but a little bit of mindfulness is always better than injury.
Janine L. Agoglia has been teaching Vinyasa yoga since 1998. Her yoga journey started in 1995 with Iyengar Yoga and she stumbled upon Vinyasa yoga in 1997. The combination of breath with proper body alignment is what fuels Janine's practice and the classes that she teaches. She believes that yoga should be safe as well as challenging, creative and fun. She always emphasizes proper alignment within the flow, as well as focus, breath and humor to help students find the balance between strength and ease. Deepening one’s physical awareness helps one strengthen his/her spiritual awareness and mind-body connection. Janine loves being able to help people deepen their own practices, finding yoga in everyday life, on and off the mat. Her DVD, “Vinyasa Yoga for Regular People” is available for purchase at the front desk at Lumina Mind Body Studios in Wayland, MA.
In addition to being the Co-Director of Yoga and teaching yoga classes at Lumina Mind Body Studios Janine is also a Licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist who practices at Integrative Therapeutics in Natick, MA.