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Season 1 - Episode 13

Lesson 5: Twists & Sitting

5 min - Tutorial
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We look at how to find a comfortable seat and the props that can help support you while seated. We also explore the benefits of twisting postures in the yoga practice.
This lesson is designed to go along withPractice 5.
What You'll Need: Blanket (2), Block (2)

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Nov 01, 2017
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So welcome to lesson five. So in our fifth practice together, we start sitting and we also begin to explore some twisting. So in this lesson, let's look at how we can maybe sit a bit more comfortably. And of course, comfort is relative. So for many of us, as you come onto the floor, you'll notice it's pretty hard. We're not used to it. You might find your knees are up here. Maybe your spine is rounding and you're rolling towards the back of your sitting bones a little bit. So the props really help to create a sense of laying through the spine. We're elevating our pelvis and we explore this. We explored this in our second practice together, where we're looking at that bowl of water pouring forward. The pelvis is rolling forward. And in our third lesson together, we looked at that external rotation through the hips, where the hips are falling towards the floor. Now these are two opposing actions, which makes sitting pretty hard. So sitting up on a blanket can really help encourage that length and that quality of opening through the spine and the chest. So you might find one blanket feels good. You might prefer sitting up a little bit higher on two blankets or maybe even a bolster. You'll also look at the knees. So having two blocks right underneath the knees as you come into a cross-leg position can be really, really nice here. And you might try this right now and notice how it feels. Like for me, I feel more supported and less strain through the hips and it can actually allow my spine to lengthen a bit more here. It just feels more relaxed. For me right now, I notice that my jaw is a bit more soft. Another thing you can try is with a blanket. All right? So what I like to do with the blanket is to open the blanket up, roll it so you're creating a nice long roll through here. It's really worth taking the time to get it just right with these props. Okay. And then just tucking it underneath the knees. So creating like a little nest for the knees, which can feel different than the blocks. This actually feels really nice. Again, you might stay here. You might sit up on another blanket or a bolster just to help encourage this. You might find you can sit a little bit longer and a little bit more comfort. Okay. So let's look at twisting. So what's the purpose of twisting in the yoga practice? For me, I find twisting, it helps to increase digestion and also blood flow and circulation in the body. So notice as you move through your twist, as you come out of your twist, how you feel afterwards. So let's explore this together. Come into a comfortable seat and we'll twist to our right and just twist like a regular twist without doing anything in particular. And as you bring your left hand onto your right knee and your right hand behind you, and just notice how this feels through your back, through your spine, through your shoulder. Good. And then just release. All right. So now let's add a few details that might help it feel a little bit better. So let's begin to inhale and lengthen our spine. So grounding through the sitting bones, find length in the spine and let's inhale the left arm up and take a few moments here to really find that length through the spine. And you might imagine each vertebra on the spine is lengthening. On the inhale, we're creating more space. And then bring the right hand behind you. And as you exhale, maintain that length as you twist towards the right here. Good. Keep rooting through your sitting bones, grounding as you inhale and lengthen. And then with an exhale, continue to twist.

And inhale, lengthen. Exhale and twist. And here the left hand might find the right thigh. Continue to ground as you inhale, find a bit more length through the spine. And you might imagine each vertebra is lengthening. All right. And then exhale, twisting. And then maybe you're looking over that right shoulder. And always in the twist, finding a place where the neck and head feel comfortable. Notice the quality of your breath here. I find it useful to breathe into the back. Breathe into the back body. And then as we come out, maintain the length as you slowly unwind. And as you unwind, you might even feel the rotation of each vertebra, the spine coming back to center. And then just notice how you feel as you come out of the twist here. So I suggest doing that on the other side to even it out. And just homework this week is to just explore lengthening the spine and the twist and notice how it feels with the inhale lengthening and the exhale twisting. Let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you. See you soon.


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