In this video tutorial I’m going to demonstrate and discuss one of the fundamental elements of twisting.
While this tutorial is demonstrated in Marichyasana C, this same action can be applied to every twisting asana through all the series of Ashtanga Yoga.
Here are some things to consider when twisting:
Try to keep your hips stable, while rotating from the rib cage
To keep the hips stable, you have to be active in the hip that your turning toward. Keep the hip down and bring the sit bone forward, opposite to the direction the ribs are twisting in.
Let’s break it down a little more.
In a simple twist like Marichyasana C, try out the following actions:
- Step into the outer edge of your foot
- Think about sliding the thigh of the bent leg to the front of the mat
- At the same time, try lifting your bottom ribs up, and turn toward the back of the mat
So there are two directions happening here:
- The hip going down and forward,
- The rib cage going up and back
This is going to create space between the hip and the lowest rib. You’ll start to feel more of a twist in your thoracic spine, right around the base of the ribs which is where we want to be twisting from.
2. Use your arm to deepen the twist.
Before you try to bind in a twist, use your arm to help get your chest past your leg. I like to call this the “chest test”: ideally, both nipples are past the thigh 😐
Special hint! Keep your upper arm externally rotated as you press it into your leg. This will help to deepen the twist from your entire upper back, instead of just moving from the shoulder.
Then, once your chest is past your leg, you can do whatever bind the particular asana calls for.
Keep these hints in mind the next time that you’re doing your twists, and let me know how it goes!
I hope you found this helpful and enjoyable!
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