Cross Leg Twisting Pose: By Christine Wushke
This simple twist can be done by Yogi’s of any level. Twisting poses are very beneficial for cleansing and toning the organs of elimination, as well as increasing mobility in the spinal muscles. This is another excellent preparation pose for seated meditation.
*If you find sitting on the floor difficult you can practice this twist sitting in a chair. It is not recommended to perform twisting poses during early pregnancy or menstruation. Also use caution if you have herniated disks in the spine.
1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed; if you find this position to be uncomfortable, sit in an alternative position or in a chair.
2. Close your eyes and let your awareness move inward. Be aware of your sit bones in contact with the floor or chair.
3. Take a moment to inwardly honour the deep wisdom and intelligence inherent within the body.
4. Place your right hand in front of you and your left hand behind you.
5. Your spine should be perpendicular to the floor, if you are leaning forward or back, then place a block under your hands.
6. Push down into your hands, and with the strength of your arms push the spine up. Imagine you are lengthening all the spaces between each vertebra. Pull your shoulder blades down (as if you are putting them in your back pocket). Lift and open your chest.
7. Slowly begin twisting your spine and torso to the left. As soon as you become aware of a stretch in the back, stop. Lengthen your spine, pull your shoulder blades down, and breathe evenly.
Focus your breathing into your lower abdomen as you hold the stretch, gently moving the lower abdomen down and out as you inhale.
8. Hold the pose until you feel the stretch decrease in intensity.
9. Repeat steps 1 – 8 on the other side.
8. Sit in your favourite meditation position and finish with 5 or more minutes of silent meditation, or follow along with one of the guided meditations posted here.
Benefits: Tones and strengthens the muscles in the back. Decreases muscle tension in the back and keeps the joints in the spine more mobile. Opens the shoulders, chest, and hips, mobilizes the pelvis and sacrum. Tones and detoxifies internal organs, cleanses the colon, detoxifies the liver.
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Christine Wushke is a certified yoga and meditation teacher with over 15 years of experience. Her aim is to create a sacred space for students to effortlessly find the presence of stillness and an inner silence. Christine’s mission is to raise consciousness on the planet by empowering people to realize their own Divinity and to uncover a deep peace within. Christine is committed to assisting you in your journey, and helping you to realize directly for yourself the truth of what you are, and the stillness of truth within. In addition to her yoga and meditation training, Christine is also a registered massage therapist. In the past two years she has studied extensively in the spiritual tradition of Advaita Vedanta. Her teaching style is largely influenced by Iyengar yoga, and the nondual tradition of Advaita.
© written and modeled by Christine Wushke, Photo’s by Dianne Wushke.