Twists are one of my favourite poses in yoga. They feel fantastic when I feel stiff around my mid back but also they just get things moving. If something is stuck or trapped in your digestive track, a yoga sequence full of twisting poses (log or short, it doesn’t matter) is one of the best ways to support your body's needs naturally. Healthy twists bring healthy blood flow and circulation to your bowel but also to the entire body. While twists can have a beneficial effect on digestion, it is important to practice them with care. Move with your breath, allow every inhale to lift you up and every exhale to move you a little deeper into the twist.
Active digestion happens after you finished all the twisting, when you are resting in savasana or seating in a meditation practice. Only when the body’s idea of ‘danger’ has passed it starts to digest and eliminate. That is how yoga, meditation and breathing support digestion. Yoga calms us by training our nervous system to transition from a flight or fight (the sympathetic nervous system) to a restorative and healing response (parasympathetic nervous system).
You can do all sorts of twists: lying twists, seated twists and lunging twists. Of the three twist variations, lunging twists allow for the most movement in the spine. If the arms are not forcefully creating oppositional pressure, there is minimal risk to the spine.
For those of you who wish to add a little spice to your twists, open the arms, or even lift the elbows. Your side abs will turn on straight away! If you want to try more gentle twists, just put the knee down.
Anther fabulous way to spike up you digestion is by drinking a beverage with lemon first thing in the morning, at least 30 min before breakfast. This will stimulate digestion and elimination.
- juice of ½ lemon or lime
- 1 tbls of apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp of honey
- pinch of cayenne
- small cup of warm water
Just mix it all together.