Twist & Shout: A Flow Designed to Wring You Out

Must be something in the air (hello, seasonal transition!) that’s got me in the mood for twisting. As a result, twists are popping up in my teaching and home practice.  Here’s a variation on what I’ve been teaching/practicing:

Twist & Shout (actual shouting optional)

forward fold
table top
cat/cow
thread the needle (I love this opening baby twist/shoulder opener)
table top with opposite arm/leg extension

downward facing dog
shorten down dog stand and reach hand back to opposite ankle/shin
re-establish down dog
vinyasa
step/hop to front
tadasana

intention setting
om om om

vinyasa
core plank
runners lunge
gentle twisting lunge

vinyasa
core plank with knee to elbow
runners lunge
pyramid
repeat lunge/pyramid pulse 3-5 times ending in lunge
crescent lunge
crescent twist
step back to plank
side plank
vinyasa

crescent lunge
warrior II
reverse warrior
side angle
half bind
reverse warrior
half moon
revolved half moon
step back to lunge
drop heel and build into triangle from bottom up
prasaritta
revolved triangle
vinyasa

gentle abs (Block between thighs, legs in air. Squeeze block, draw belly down and hold. Thanks Alex Amorosi for this one!!)

supported bridge
supported fish

reclined pigeon (because it feels awesome)

viparita karani (gentle inversion)
supine twist
savasana in supta baddha konasana

PSA
The mantra for ALL twists is “inhale lengthen, exhale twist.” Spine lengthens up out of the hips on the inhales, and the twist occurs on the exhales by drawing the belly button in, and using core strength to move the twist. Shoulder, neck and face stay soft. Keeping a long spine and moving gently will prevent injury.  If you have a pre-existing back condition, please consult with a skilled yoga teacher first to find the best way to modify for your body.

ALTERNATIVES
To shake it up, cut out the crescent twist and instead try this fun bit:

come to forward fold
utkatasana
utkatasana twist
forward fold (yogi’s choice of type)

hold right knee with right hand, left hand to hip
slowly lift to stand, holding knee to chest
uttita hasta padangustasana (any variation)
release to tadasana
repeat on opposite side
This is a long and active standing series, so feel free to take an extra-long, extra-juicy savasana.

Happy fall!

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2 responses to “Twist & Shout: A Flow Designed to Wring You Out

  1. Abby, thanks for this! I wrote it all out (had to look some things up!) and am off to try it. My last post is so nicely addressed by YOUR post! Kismet! – Catnip
    http://catnipkiss.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/why-im-not-doing-yoga-or-why-the-hell-am-i-not-doing-yoga/

  2. Thanks Catnipkiss! Just checked out your blog: great post! Keep up the great work in Spain. Yoga can be practiced off the mat just as genuinely and importantly as on the mat 🙂

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