Asana of the month – May – Spinal twist

Bluebells, blossom and glimmers of sunshine between the showers – yes, Spring is here, albeit a rather damp one.. New life is being released into the plants and trees and we feel re-energised as we emerge from the Winter. Whether it’s Spring cleaning the house, clearing clutter in your life or detoxing and improving your diet – this season is all about letting go of the old and bringing into focus new creative plans that lie ahead. A simple seated spinal twist, combined with a full, flowing breath benefits both our nervous and digestive systems. Without being fixated on how far we can reach (though taking it slowly you might find after a few breaths that your body softens and invites you to twist ever so slightly further), and simply enjoying the sensation of the action, we are squeezing out toxins and tension, making space for renewed energy.

Sitting in a comfortable cross legged position, inhale and lengthen the spine, then exhale and drop the shoulders; feeling grounded in the pelvis and light in the upper body, bring your focus to the rhythm of your breathing. Inhale and take the right hand onto the left knee, exhale and twist to the left, sweeping the left arm around, planting the palm down onto the floor behind the back, close to the body. Take your gaze over the left shoulder. Let the breath flow. Enjoy the twist, and when ready, release, move back gently to the centre and repeat on the opposite side.

If you are reading this sitting at a desk, try a variation using the back of your office chair. Sitting with knees hip width apart, turn to the left and take hold of the side of the chairback with the left hand. Bring the wrist of the right hand onto the outside of the left knee, palm facing out. See if you can twist further by using the right wrist on the left knee as a lever. Relax the shoulders. Take your gaze over the left shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side before getting back to work!

Safia x



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