Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 3 - Episode 11

Twisting Flow

45 min - Practice


Wring out the old and make room for the new. Robert guides in a cleansing Vinyasa practice with a variety of twisting postures to clear, detoxify, and let go. You will feel challenged, alive, and free.
What You'll Need: Mat

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Hey. How's it going? Welcome. This practice is, I mean, we're going to twist. It's, we're going to have all kinds of variations here. Uh, how to twist and rotate the trunk of your body while isolating through the hips and low back as best we can. Okay. So come to a comfortable seat if you're not already there. We'll be here for a couple of postures. So if, um, if you're uncomfortable in any way, you know, make yourself more comfortable, prop yourself up, et cetera. Hips above the knees sometimes feels pretty nice. All right. So for the first few moments here, let's, uh, focus on our breath. So bring your hands to your stomach. Okay. So what I'd like you to, to feel for is the inhalation, the stomach gently expanding the exhalation, stomach contracting, meaning like it's kind of minimizing, right? Contracting inhale. So if your hands are on your stomach, your, your hands will move away from the body. Exhale. Hands draw closer. Okay. Breathe in. Belly expands. You can put your hands on your thighs if you'd like. Breathe out. Belly contracts. Good. One more time. Breathe in and breathe out. Nice. Let's add a little movement to that. If you bring your hands behind your head or just kind of like around your temples or somewhere around here, open up your elbows, pull your ribs in low ribs in, breathe in, exhale, rotate to the right as far as you can. Pull that stomach in on the exhale. Inhale back to center. Get long, right? Get long in the spine, trunk of your body. Exhale, pull the belly in a little bit and rotate to the left. Good. Inhale back to center. Extend and lengthen the spine. As you exhale, you rotate to the right, reach the left elbow back, right elbow back. Maybe even look over your right elbow. Good. Inhale back to center. Lengthen. Get long. Exhale. Twist to the left. Rotate. Now sometimes when we do this, we close off the elbows. Keep the elbows open. Right elbow open, left elbow. Look over toward the left elbow. Twist. Pull the stomach in. Good. One more time on each side. Good. Breathe in. Lengthen. Breathe out. Rotate. Breathe in. Center. Breathe out. Rotate left. Inhale back to center and exhale the hands down. So what I like about that is that you really can't move your hips or your low back. Okay. Two options. You can take your left hand to your right thigh, right hand back behind you. Lift and lengthen your spine. Lift the chest but relax the shoulders and rotate to the right. Okay. Stay there if that feels appropriate for your leg positioning. Right. You can also opt to do this guy here or this gal. Left heel drawn in toward your right buttocks. Keep both sit bones grounded. Right foot on the opposite side of your left thigh. Lift up with the chest. Lift the chest. Maybe even take your left arm. Hook it around the front of your right shin just below the knee. Lift the chest. Take your right hand back behind you. But what happens is that right sit bone lifts. So try to sit it down. Rotate. You could even take. So depending on where you are. Right. Get into the groove of the breath. Take the left elbow if you'd like and hook it over the right thigh. Try not to stay like leaning into it. I want you to pull your body away. Sit up tall and rotate. So I've given you a few options. Let's take a few more breaths.

Remember the expansion and contraction in the stomach. The inhalation, the belly expands. Exhalation. You pull the belly in. You get a little core work every time. Good. Look over the right shoulder if that's appropriate for your neck. Good. Bring it back to center. Maybe even hug that right knee in. So you might feel a stretch when you do that up through the right hip. IT band glute. All right. Get that. We'll do the other side. So you choose between the options I gave you on this side and build into it. So I'll come into the same option I was just in. Sometimes it's difficult to get your legs in this shape. So just stick with the cross leg if that's more appropriate for you. Okay. So both sit bones grounded. Take the right arm around. Hook it. Pull the stomach in. You kind of got to work your way into it. Then lift and lengthen. Right? You with me? Okay. Get the breath. Inhale. Exhale. Rotate over to the left. So not only a twist in this case, right? I'm also getting a big stretch in my upper back. Left side. Left hip. Okay. I'm going to come out a little bit. Breathe in. Reach that right arm high. Exhale. Belly in. Hook that right arm on the left thigh. Get a little leverage there. But I don't want to stay there. I want to pull the shoulder away. Right shoulder away from the right ear and twist. Two more breaths.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Good. Last one. Breathe in. And breathe out. Slowly come back over to center. Sit up tall. Hug that left leg in one more time for a little extra benefit stretch we'll call it. Sweet. Good. Come on out. Situate yourself onto your seat. Instead of the sit bones this time, get up on the flesh of the bum. All right? Lift up. We may have done these before in another video if you've practiced with me, but I'm kind of a big fan of this. It's a little bit of a rotation. Upper T spine rotation. So the arms are out in front of you. Breathe in. Breathe out. Inhale. Reach the right arm back as far as you can. You could even bring it down for a moment. Bring the right hand down. Roll that right shoulder. Look over the right shoulder. Good. Breathe in. And exhale. Bring it back to center. Inhale. Lift and lengthen the spine and the chest. Bring the left hand back. Take that left shoulder. Open it up a little bit. Look over the left shoulder if that's all right. Good. Bring it back to center. Inhale the right back. Exhale. Bring it forward. Inhale the left back. Exhale. Bring it forward. Three more on each side. Exhale. One. Exhale. One. To the right reaching back. Exhale right for two. Exhale two. Last one on each side. Good. From here, let's get on to our hands and knees. Okay. Come on to hands and knees. And why not? Take a little child's pose. Reach your seat back. Stretch your hips back. Your seat back as far as you can. Reach to the front of your mat. Good. From here, I want you to lift up onto your. So the seat reaches back to the heels. Your body lifts up. Place the left hand out in front of your left knee. Right hand behind the head. Okay. Now maintaining a long spine. Grounded hips as best you can. Reach the right elbow toward your left forearm. Breathe in as you do so. Then exhale. Reach the right elbow out as far out and up as you can. Pulling that stomach in. Really think about like this rotation. We're looking for rotation in your upper back. Inhale. Reach the right elbow to the left forearm. We'll do four more. Exhale. Open the right elbow up. Rotate. Twist. Good. Three more. Breathe in. Right elbow to the left forearm. Breathe out. Right elbow high. Inhale. Two more. Exhale.

Exhale. Stomach in. Stomach in. Low belly contracting. Nicely done. Bring it back down. Let's do the other side. So that right hand is out in front of the right knee. Left hand behind the head. Inhale. So try not to round when doing so, right? Take that spine. Lengthen the spine. Hips back. Inhale the left elbow in the direction of your right forearm. And exhale. Open. You can kind of notice. Keep going. You can kind of notice from side to side which one has more mobility or less mobility if you will. Good. Three more. Inhale. Elbow to forearm. Exhale. Rotate and open. Inhale. And exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Reach that left elbow up. Look up. Look up. Follow the gaze onto the left elbow and bring it down. Good. Cat, cow. Five rounds. Inhale. Look forward. Butt up. Belly down. Exhale. Round it out. Cat pose. Inhale. Cow. Exhale. Cat. Inhale. Good job. Exhale. Inhale. Last one. Exhale. Last one. And exhale. Inhale. Back into a nice flat back. Curl those toes under. Downward facing dog. So the main priority of this practice or focal point is the rotation and twisting but we are getting other movements and motions in which the spine is supposed to move, right?

So it's all good. Move your spine. Move your body. So if you've got the ability from here, if you take your right hand, reach it back toward your left calf. Get a good hold. There's a little bit of a rotation. Again, keep those hips square. Maybe look under your left elbow. Use a little muscular effort to rotate and pull your chest through. Good. Release. Try the other side. So downward dog. Really glue or ground your right hand down in order to stabilize, right? Left hand. Reach it through right calf area. Good. Look under your right arm. Pull that left shoulder in the direction of like the toes or to the right side, if you will. Keep pressing through the center of your right palm. Pulling the belly in on the exhale. Sweet. Bring it back to center. Soft through the knees. Relax in the back of the head. Reach your sit bones as high as you can. Really looking for a long, long extended, lengthened spine. Now we'll walk up to the front of the mat. Finish here in a forward bend for a moment, right? So walk, land, exhale, knees bent. Inhale, come up half way. Push the center. Push your palms into your hip creases with your knees bent a lot. So push into those hip creases. Pull your elbows back so your shoulders aren't up into your head or your ears, right? Pull the elbows back. Push and at the same time push through your hips, but also like lengthen through the top or the crown of your head. Pull your stomach in. Breathe in. Expand the belly. Exhale, contract and fold. So hang here for a few moments. Let your body become acclimated to this forward bend. You can always in a forward bend release your hands down, straighten one leg at a time. And that's what we're actually going to do. So what I want you to do is straighten your right leg as much as you can while bending your left. Take your left fingertips, come up onto the fingertips. So the fingertips of your left hand are right out, maybe six to 10 inches in front of your left toes. And by straightening your right leg and bending your left, it might give you, if you take your right hand, slide the right fingers across your chest, across your collar bones, your right shoulder, and all the way up. A little bit of effort in the stomach as we've been working on. Open that right arm, but make sure, see what it feels like to take that palm, really open up the palm, like twist the palm open to the right. Right arm comes down. There's a little rotation there. Straighten the left, bend the right, tent up on the right fingertips and slide the left fingers up across your chest. No lazy belly here on the exhalation. I really want you to activate. So exhale, contract. Open up, twist that left palm open to the left. Good. Bring it back to neutral position. Slide the fingers up your shins. Inhale, half forward bend. Exhale, forward bend. With very strong legs, pushing and driving your heels in and down into the mat, push your hips back, lift your chest and then rise all the way up. Breathe in, touch the ceiling and palms to the chest. Exhale. Inhale, circle the arms high. Exhale with soft bend in the knees, hips back, forward bend. Inhale, lift that chest halfway. The right foot steps back on the exhale. Keep the right knee lifted, tent up on those right fingertips. So if you're looking right at the camera, well it doesn't really matter, but lengthen your spine as much as you can. Try not to round over. So lengthen the spine, feet hip width, left hand over onto the right rib cage of your body. Begin to rotate to the left. So this kind of like the hand gesture sort of helps you to rotate and then lift the left arm high. Little deliberate breaths in and out of the belly. Left arm comes down, right knee comes down, 90 degree left leg, 90 degree back leg. Okay. I really want you to kind of work with that. Extend your tailbone down toward the floor. Palms to the chest. Breathe in, lengthen your spine. Breathe out, rotate to the left. Belly in. Rotate as far as you can. Stay upright. Stay twisted. Right hand to the left thigh, left hand to your low back. Good. Gaze over the left shoulder. Active in the breath. Beautiful. Come back to center. Take the arms up as you breathe in. Exhale. The hands come down. Let's throw Vinyasa in there. Transition. Step back into plank pose. Breathe in. Exhale. Lower down. Let's go all the way down on this one.

Point your toes back. Lift your palms up off of the mat. So all, every bit of your palms and hands, fingers, everything lifts. Pull the elbows to the ceiling and then pull the elbows toward one another. Strong upper back, strong legs. Lift the chest. Breathe in. Exhale. Put the hands down. Curl the toes. Activate the belly. Downward dog. Right leg lifts, inhale. Step it all the way up as you exhale. Good. Get your positioning on the mat. Right hand to the left rib cage. Rotate. Twist open to the right. Then let that right arm extend high. Couple things. Push your left heel back. Strong left leg. Drive down through the bones of your right foot. Stay super connected there. Right hand comes down. Left knee down. Good. So 90 degree back leg, 90 degree front leg. So palms at the chest. Lengthen the spine.

Tailbone extends downward toward the floor. Exhale. Rotate as far right as you can. Left hand to the right thigh. Right hand to your low back. Use a little effort there in your hands to manipulate the twist deeper. Gaze over the right shoulder if you've got that mobility in your neck. If not, keep the gaze a little more neutral. Active and deliberate in the stomach. One more breath. Breathe in. Breathe out. Back to center. Inhale the arms high. And exhale. Hands come down. Step the left foot up to meet your right. Fold. Exhale. Good. Inhale. Lift halfway. Exhale. Forward bend. Strong legs. Rise all the way up. Breathe in. Touch the ceiling. Exhale. Palms draw to your chest. Okay. Bring your feet closer to touch. From here, bring your arms up. And as you exhale, begin to reach your hips back. Knees hover over your feet. So sit back into a chair. And for now, let those arms come straight out. But don't disconnect the arms from the body. Keep the arms connected to the body. Sit back. If you want to take your feet a little bit wider, maybe like look down and you've got like two inches between the arches of your feet. Sit back. Good. Now palms to the chest. Look at your knees. All right. Don't let when we come over to the right and to the twist, your left knee come forward. Everything stays centered and aligned. Good. So from here, breathe in. Exhale. Rotate to the right. Stay above. Don't hook yet. Inhale back to center. Exhale. Belly engages. Rotate to the left. Good. Inhale back to center. Now sit a little lower. Exhale. I like to take my right hand on my right thigh. Give me a little leverage to hook that left elbow over the right thigh. Push the left knee back to join the right. Belly in. Now press the left elbow into that right thigh and pull your body away. Pull the body away from the legs. Palms pressing together. Gaze over your right shoulder. Super active in the stomach. Now from here, press into the right foot, balance, stabilize yourself and step the left foot back into high lunge. Make the adjustments.

You'll have more space here, I'm sure. So right hand on that right thigh. Breathe in. Exhale. Pull the stomach in. Maybe hook that left elbow over a little farther. Palms pressing together. Pull your body away from the thigh, the right thigh. Look over the right shoulder or look neutral. How's your breath? So good. Now come back to center. Good. Maybe shorten your stance just a little bit. Inhale. Reach those arms up. Exhale. Bring the hands down. Step back into plank pose. Wiggle it out a little bit. That's a lot on that right leg. Exhale. Lower down halfway this time. Upward dog on the breath in. Breath out, downward dog. Take a couple breaths. To do the other side, let's transition to the front of the mat first. So go ahead and walk on up. Exhale. Fold. Inhale. Rise up halfway. And exhale. Fold. Strong legs, strong core. Rising up. Breathe in. And breathe out. Palms to the heart. Palms to the chest. All right. So feet together or slightly apart. Back into chair.

Palms at your heart. Long spine. I like to take, like I said, take my left hand. It gives me a little leverage. Left hand on that left thigh. Sit down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Pull the stomach in. Reach over. Reach the right elbow over the left thigh. Hook it. Make sure my knees are aligned. Press the palms together. Pull my body away. This is difficult. It's meant to be difficult, right? It's not easy. So not easy for me. Let's do our best here to stay with it. Palms together. Chest open. Breath. How's your breath? Now, balancing on your left, step the right foot back. Make the adjustments. You know, make sure your feet are not on a tightrope. You've got hip width. Now, left hand. Left thigh. Breathe in. Breathe out. Pull. Create space as much as you can and hook that right elbow a little bit farther. Press your palms together. Pull your body away and twist and rotate and breathe. I'm right here with you. I got your back. Okay. Slowly come out. Step the right foot up a little bit. Just a little bit. Inhale. Exhale. Hands come down. Take a little vinyasa again, kind of helpful in clearing. Pause and plank. Inhale. As you exhale, lower down halfway or all the way. Move through the cobra or upward facing dog and downward facing dog. Take a stroll to the front of the mat. I kind of personally like to slowly stroll. Exhale, and inhale, lift halfway. Exhale, fold. Strong legs rise all the way up and exhale, palms to your chest. Okay. We're going to go, we're going to bring the right foot back. Step the right foot back, but not too crazy far. Triangle pose. Okay. So not like as far as warrior two, a little more moderate. Left hip. Bring the left hip back. Right foot has a bit of an angle, so it's worth taking a moment to look at the screen to see my alignment with my feet, right? Left hip back. Little mellow mellow micro bend in your left leg. Reach the left arm forward while pulling your left hip back. The left hand comes down towards your shin, your ankle, or the floor. If you have a block, block up a little bit. Keeping your left hip back. Again, take those right fingers and graze them across your chest and up. How's your breath? Stay committed to that. All else fails, right? Or if nothing else, breathe in, breathe out. Good. Come up. Hands on the hips for a moment. Step your right foot back. Kind of similar stance, but your hips are going to be a little bit more open.

Warrior two. I apologize. My gaze is not toward you, but it is what it is. So extend long through the arms, but do focus on grounding evenly into both feet, almost like you're trying to pull the feet together, bringing attention to the midline. Reverse warrior. Breathe in. So wrap your right forearm to your low back, left fingertips up as high as you can and back. And now exhale. Windmill the arms down. Step back into plank pose. Lower down halfway or all the way. Your choice always. Inhale upward. Exhale downward. Good. So like I said, my preference is taking a bit of a slow stroll so I can work the length in the legs, stepping mindfully, deliberately to the front of the mat. Exhale, folding. Inhale, lifting halfway. Exhale, fold. Bent knees, almost like you're working in a chair.

You rise up on the breath in, get tall, breath out, palms to the chest. Inhale, arms out and up. Exhale, soft bend in the knees, hips back, forward bend. Inhale, lifting halfway to lengthen the spine. Exhale, fold. Rise all the way up. Breathe in and palms to the chest. Breathe out. Triangle pose. Step the left foot back. Left foot back. Put an angle on that back foot. Right hip draws back. So right hip draws back, evenly grounding into both feet. Put a tiny little micro bend in the right leg. So simultaneously that right hip pulls back and you reach to the front of your room or wherever you are, reaching to lengthen the right side of your body and then hinge the right fingertips or reach the right fingertips toward the shin, ankle or floor. I like right around the ankle for me. Slide the left fingertips up that right arm across your chest and pull your full expression. Trikonasana, triangle pose. You can take the gaze upward, downward or high. All right. Up back into warrior two. So there's a slight adjustment, right? Open the stance. Warrior two affords you a little bit more space. Good. Now I can see you. Unless you're turned around now. We just can't connect. You know what? It's over. I'm just kidding. Okay, good. Get those feet grounded. Get that shape, that warrior two shape. Take the left forearm to the low back, right palm up, up and back, reverse. Inhale here. Exhale. Sweep it on down. Step back into plank. Exhale lower. Inhale upward version, whichever one that is for you. Exhale downward dog. Step the left foot to the left side of the mat near your left pinky. Lean into the hips a little bit for a moment. Step the right all the way up. So I like to cue heels on the mat, feet off the mat or the toes off the mat. Send the hips down. Elbows pressing into the inner thighs, right? Just kind of get those knees open. That'll also create some space for you to lift your chest. Draw your shoulder blades down. Option. Reach your left hand out, out in front of and to the left. And then that right arm comes up for a little bit more of that twisting, rotating. Right arm comes down, left arm up. Left arm comes down, set your seat down, situate yourself on your mat so that your legs are out in front of you on your mat. Just feels a little bit better. So forward bending, right? You don't really even need to lean forward. I'll give you two options. Hands down, it's called staff pose.

Hands down alongside your hips. Heels pressing forward, toes pulling back. Quads are engaging, pressing down. Now palms alongside those hips, press and then pull the chest open. All right? Shoulders back, chest open. So that can be a very good pose to stay and hang out in. You can choose between that and or forward bend, reach, maybe take like index finger and middle finger, reach around the big toes. This is honestly like if I'm just being super, super honest, right? As opposed to me lying the rest of the sequence. No, honestly. Forward bending has never been my thing. But I've begun to create a different relationship with it. Right? Become okay with how far I can go. And the more I sort of just let go of where I need to go with the pose, I'm falling into it more and more every time I land. I guess it's the expectation thing, right? So please, wherever you are with the forward bend, don't push it, just take a few breaths, settle in. Okay, roll back up, take a bit of a counter pose, reach your hands back, push your chest up. Great. We're gonna lie down on our backs. So roll on down. This may possibly feel kind of nice right about now. So if you lie down, hug the knees into your chest, maybe even what I find to be pretty nice is if I take my hands on top of my knees, this gives me the ability to roll some circles. So some circles on my back, one side than the other. Bring your feet down to the mat.

Take your feet pretty wide on the mat with your knees bent. So windshield wiper nice and slow. What I invite you to do is let those arms come out wide and let it be just a super casual movement from side to side, maybe coordinating your breath. So your breath would go exhale knees to the left or right, right? Maybe your inhale takes you to center and exhale to the right. But if you're breathing and you're moving, it's all good. A couple more times. You could take the knees over to the right, take your right ankle on top of your left thigh. That adds a little weight for what might feel like a pretty good stretch to your left waist, hip region. Try the other side. So knees, I don't know which side you did, but if you did the first side, now our knees are over to the left, left ankle on top of the right thigh, puts a little extra weight to kind of enhance that stretch that may already be enough. So if it's already enough, no need to put the foot on there. Good. Bring it back to center. And of course, right, if there's anything that you need to do that I haven't really offered, go for it. But right now we're going to lie down fully stretched out. If this bothers your back, your low back, you can bend your knees, plant your feet. That'll help to ground your low back a little bit more. Another option would be bottoms of your feet together, knees out wide. You choose. Okay. It just feels nice. So let's you and I take a deep breath in, exhaling all you got, feeling your body ground and relax. You no longer have to really work physically right in any real way. Let yourself, the work is relaxing, which may be for you the hardest thing of the practice so far. Just invite you to take a few deep breaths with me before we go back out into our days or nights or wherever. Take three more breaths here. Relax all the muscles in your face, your jaw, your shoulders. Good. Draw the knees in, roll to your right side. Take a moment there. So the knees are bent. Your head is resting on your right arm. Eyes are closed. Push up to sit. And whew. All right. So like I said, if there's anything you need to do to further on, go for it. And one little thing to carry through the rest of your day or night, you always have that exhale. Always have the exhale for when things get difficult and challenging. It just works. So practice that and thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Have an awesome day, night, whatever. I'll see you next time.


Louisa C
2 people like this.
Thank you, Robert, the triangle was easier this time and like your transitions! Namaste!
Robert Sidoti
Happy to hear Louisa! I am loving triangle these days, went a long time not loving it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!!
Erika H
1 person likes this.
Uff da, as my Norwegian aunties would say -- I didn't realize how much my torso needed to be wrung open. As always, Robert Sidoti , you cracked me up (I WAS facing the other way when you finally turned back to the camera). Ready for the day ahead!
Janet L
1 person likes this.
Love your classes!!!
1 person likes this.
Love this practice Robert! The excellent cueing has helped me to master the high lunge twist enabling me to lift my body away from the thighs thus it  makes it a lot easier to keep the spine straight and go into a more effective twist - yay!!H so much! Namaste
Robert Sidoti
Awesome news LOUISE F !! Thanks for letting me know, always helpful and fun to here how the practices feel for you all!! Have a great day! 
Lina S
1 person likes this.
I've really enjoyed this twisting class. Not that easy the twisted chair position when you extend one leg back. A lot of balance too! Thank you.
Robert Sidoti
Hey hey Lina S  - thanks for your comment!! Twisting postures are the best, so happy you enjoyed the class! That transition can be challenging for sure, keep up the good work and thanks for sharing your experiences here with us!! 
Sandra Židan
This was great but also in some parts very challenging practice! Thank you very much, Robert, for sharing it with us! Regards!

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