30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 9

Detoxifying Twists

30 min - Practice


Brenda guides us in a heating and detoxifying flow practice of spinal twisting postures. We move through strong standing postures and play with arm balancing to heat the body and relieve some stress.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Dec 24, 2018
(Log In to track)
(No Desires)


Read Full Transcript

Welcome back. In this class, we are going to play with twisting postures. So twists are great for detoxifying, for stress relieving, and just simply accessing spaces in our spine. So let's have at it and meet at the top of the mat. So we're just going to dive right in, starting with hands on the knees, bending the knees, and coming into ukhatasana stance. And with an inhale, start to take the chest forward, lift the tail, so just gentle as we're getting into our practice. And then exhale, rounding chin tucks, spine tucks. Inhale, open it up, just a standing cat-cow. So if you need a little wider stance, feel free. Exhale, tuck the chin, a light press through the legs. Good. Inhale, open up. Exhale, round. Allowing your breath to initiate the movement. So if my cues aren't right on, feel free to make it a little bit longer, a little bit shorter. Got a few more. Inhale to open broad. Exhale, round. Heart up towards the heavens. Starting to warm up a little bit through the thighs. Next inhale, and then exhale just that the hands slide down the legs. Come into a forward fold, grab opposite elbow, just an easy stance. If you're called to sway a little bit, feel free. Or simply stay in stillness. All right, so you can just let your shoulders just thunk down towards your ears. Okay, exhale, let the fingertips come to the floor. Again, keep the feet hip distance apart, start to bend the knees, rise up, utkatasana. So slide the knees back so they're more over the ankles. Exhale, bend the elbows. So bring the palms to the back of the head, press the head into the palms. So same action, we're going to inhale, take the elbows wide. Exhale, as you round in, elbows come in towards each other. Okay, inhale, lift the chin, start to open up through the throat. Exhale, round in. Okay, building heat with the bend of the knees. Inhale, light. Exhale, round. So we're just kind of inhaling here, playing with the resistance of where you kind of meet your stopping point. Then exhale, same thing, just light at that stopping point. Inhale, take the arms up. Exhale, fold forward. This time let the hands come behind the back, interlace. If you can take the fists high, let the head go. As you take the fists high, maybe they start to drop overhead a little bit. Create a little softness and sweetness in the elbows. Even though legs are engaged, a little micro bend in the knees. As you exhale, let the fingertips come to the floor. Inhale, come halfway up just to lift through the spine. Then exhale, fold in. Inhale, rise back up, utkatasana. And on an exhale, let the left arm come back, right arm forward. So a big open twist and a gentle drawback of the right hip. Inhale, center. Exhale, left arm comes forward, right arm back again. This time, left hip draws back. Inhale. Exhale, left arm back, right arm forward. Inhale, right arm back, left arm forward. Inhale, center. One more each side. Exhale, left arm back, right arm forward. Inhale. Exhale, left arm forward, right arm back. Inhale. This time we'll add a half sun salutation, so fold forward on the exhale.

Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, rise up, chair pose, utkatasana. Exhale, left arm back, right arm forward. Inhale, center. Just one time each side, right arm back, left arm forward. Inhale, fold it forward, exhale. Inhale, halfway. Exhale, fold in. One more inhale, rise up, utkatasana. Exhale, left arm back. Good. Inhale, right arm back. Inhale, fold it in. Inhale, halfway lift. Place the palm step back lightly into downward facing dog. Just kind of find a little walkout, bending one knee the opposite, letting one heel lift the other. Find a press through the palms. From here, press a little deeper through the left palm. Take the right hand back. Maybe it's touching the thigh, the shin, maybe towards the ankle as we find a twist. So it's a deep press through the left hand. Wrapping of the shoulder so you can find stability here. You can always skip this and stay right and downward facing dog. Right palm comes to the floor, press deep through the right palm, reach the left arm back. So either above the knee, below the knee, right around the ankle, find the gaze come up under the right shoulder, find the wrap where you're scooping under the armpit. So the right upper arm goes towards the sky, the right outer arm goes towards the floor. Good little quick warm-up there with the arms. Left hand comes back to the floor. Wave it forward into a plank pose and then slowly lowering down either knees or straight down. Bring the forehead down, take the arms wide, tent the fingers, and on an inhale you're gonna lift up bringing the gaze to the left. So open up here to the left and then as you wrap down, you're gonna take the gaze over to the right. So a free-flowing sahajra bhujangasana, a free-flowing low cobra. Inhale, right arm and then exhale gaze over the left. A few more inhale up to the left, almost like a little infinity here. Not worrying so much about what it looks like but more about the feel and the access to the spine here. Inhale to the right, exhale to the left. One more, inhale to the left and then exhale to the right. Bring the forehead back to center, plant the palms, come up to neutralize, low cobra facing forward and then exhale, release. Press back, child's pose for transition, sit bones to the heels, toes touch and then slide forward onto all fours. Curl the toes under, lift the hips back into downward facing dog. We're gonna bring feet to hands but we're just gonna take the long way. So bring the right foot forward about two inches and pause. Sometimes I like to slide side to side just to navigate and see how the hip feels. Then the left foot comes a little bit in front of the right and take again that pause in the minutes investigation.

And then the right foot comes a little bit in front of the left. If this starts to feel a little interesting on the hamstrings, bend the knees, feel free to sweeten it and then back to the right and then the left foot comes a little in front and then just meander feet to hands and exhale fold. Inhale rise up Utkatasana, chair pose. Exhale left arm back, right arm forward, inhale center and exhale right arm back, left arm forward. We know this. Inhale center. We're gonna take it all the way through. Exhale fold forward. Inhale halfway up. Plant the palms, your choice, stepping back plank to chaturanga or to the floor. Inhale upward facing or locobra and exhale back downward facing. On an inhale take the right leg up and back. Exhale, knee in towards the heart. Hold a pause. Use your core to place the foot down as you rise up. High crescent, arms left. On an exhale, left arm comes forward, right arm back. Inhale center. Exhale again. That big open twist. Left arm back, right arm forward. So moving with your breath, the inhale you come back up. Exhale left arm forward, right arm back. So hold this one. You can stay upright with the heart or you can kick the right hand down, left arm up. So a little bit of a dip back. See if you can fire up through the left leg. Press the back of the left leg towards the ceiling. One more big breath, big stretch. Go windmill the arms so they'll come back behind you for transition. Bring the hands down. Step back plank pose. Chaturanga or the floor. Inhale upward or locobra. Exhale back. Good. Left side. Inhale left leg up and back. Knee in towards the heart. Draw it in. High crescent steps softly. Rise up strong. On an exhale, take the left arm back, right arm forward. Inhale arms up.

Core center. Exhale open twist to your left. Inhale. Exhale big open twist. This one we hold. So see if you can soften your shoulders down. Opt to stay right here or take the left hand down the right leg. Reach up and go back. So the gaze can either be neutral or you can start to take it up which adds a little bit to the balance. In the play can you stay a little lower in the lunge. Big full breath. When you're ready windmill the arms down. Step on back plank pose. Your choice and flow you can bring it to the floor. You can find chaturanga but we either place. Find it nice and slow and steady. Inhale take the shoulders back. Open up through the heart. Exhale back downward facing. That same travel forward to bring feet to hands. Step the right foot forward but this time we just won't pause. We'll just take micro steps and enjoying the journey. When you need to, if you don't quite make it all the way, feel free to take a little hop. Exhale fold it in. Inhale rise up utkatasana. So chair pose. Arms up. Good. From here a little play on an exhale. We're gonna take wings back and as we do we're gonna rise up onto the balls of the feet. Embrace the little shake. Inhale arms come up. Exhale wings back. Come up onto the balls of the feet.

See how high you can lift your heels. Inhale rise up. Exhale heels up. Wings back. This time lower the heels. Fold it forward. Right. This time see what happens when you bend your left knee. Can you get it to touch the upper arm? Maybe the right knee. Can you touch the upper arm? We're gonna do a little play in bhakasana. So your choice. You can simply stay right here and see what it feels like to touch your knees to your upper arms or at least get them moving in that direction. You can choose to stay in malasana squat pose. Or as you start to wiggle yourself in, bring the knees to the upper arms, plant the palms. Maybe feeling the weight in your hands. Maybe taking one foot up. Maybe two feet up. Right. So can you bring the gaze forward and start to lengthen through the arms? Excellent. Bring the feet down. Come right onto your bum. Legs up navasana. Right. See if you can hang out here. And I always put the invitation out. You can hold on to the back of the legs. Lift up through the chest. More important that the low back stays cinched in rather than trying to hold on. So if you round, come back. Option, take the legs long. Option, take the arms up. Ah. On an exhale, open twist to the left. Inhale, center right because we're doing twists. Open up to the right. Inhale. Right little rinse, repeat. Exhale to the left. Good. Inhale, center. Exhale to the right. Inhale. One more. Big reach, open to the left. See if you can sit up a little taller. Good. And then center. Exhale, open. Good. Center.

From here, draw the knees in just a light roll on the spine. If this feels okay, if it doesn't, just take a seat and we'll meet in a forward fold. Right. And if you get a little bit of momentum going on the rock and roll here, let your feet come underneath you and we'll meet in a forward fold. See if you can let the head go a little bit. On an inhale, come halfway up. Exhale, fold. Inhale, back into chair pose. Exhale, open twist to the left. Left arm, back, right arm, forward. And inhale, center. Exhale, right arm, back, left arm, forward, open, twist to the right. Inhale. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, halfway rise. Your choice, we're going to move through a flow, so if you want to step back plank or a little hop to chaturanga, elbow stay light and bent. Inhale, shoulders back, long spine. Back into downward facing dog. On an inhale, take the right leg up and back. Exhale, squeeze the knee in towards the chest. Place the foot down, rise up, high crescent. So see if you can take the torso up and long. Hands come down towards the heart. We're going to take a twist to the right. See if you can lift the back heel. Draw the right hip back. Draw the chin in and a little, almost like you're moving into a back bend. So sometimes in our twists we start to like push too much and we find a pause in our breath. So never give up the breath for a deeper shape. Then we lose the connection. You can keep the back heel lifted high, left leg active, pressing towards the ceiling, right hip drawing back. Two more breaths. Count and exhale. If the hands come down to frame the front foot, scoot the back leg in about six inches, drop the back heel. Draw the left hip forward, reach the heart forward, and then exhale, fold in. It's the same action. Can you lift the sit bones, draw the heart towards the toes. Okay, from here we're going to take our left hand either inside the big toe, on the foot, to the outside of the pinky foot. We can take a block or a stack of foam books and then start to draw, almost like you're drawing back an arrow, draw the right arm up to the right hip, scoot the right hip back, and then start to open up into revolved triangle. For me my chin starts to jit out, can I draw it in and back? So again finding that same back bend that we were looking for earlier. Right, hips draw back, stamp in the outer edge of the back foot, bring the right hand down, frame the front foot, soften the right knee, and step back, plank pose to the floor, knees up or down, chaturanga. Inhale upward or low cobra, take that extra breath. Exhale back, downward facing. Left leg up and back. Knee into the heart, round in, place the foot down as you rise up, high crescent. I like a nice wide stance, hip distance apart. Take the arms up, adjust if you need to, hands come down, lengthen through the torso and then twist to your left. Scoot the left hip back, lengthen through the spine, building a little heat. So here chin draws in a little bit. See if you can lift the chest up, not letting it just kind of fall in. Get light through the upper body, get strong through the base. The gaze can either be neutral, start to spin it up over the left shoulder. Good, two more breaths. Start to take the gaze down, frame the front foot with your hands, scoot the right foot in about six inches, angle the foot two, three o'clock and then swoop the left hip back. Hips are forward and exhale, fold in. Right, the tendency is this left hip kind of wants to shoot out the sides. See if you can draw it back. Stamp into the outer edge of the back foot. Okay, the right hand can either stay inside the big toe, on the foot, pinky side of the foot and you choose you can lift up a little higher too using a block. Good, hip draws back, heart forward and then left arm can reach up. Right, know it is perfectly fine to keep the hand on the hip. That same thing, see if you can find a bit of a backbend. Eyes soft, I know when I give a lot of effort my eyes get bulgy, so eyes soft.

And hands come down to frame the front foot, soften the front knee, step on back, plank pose. You can always skip this flow a piece or add chaturanga or the floor, low cobra, upward facing on the inhale, big breath, exhale back. Moving feet to hands, taking again our time, right foot comes a little bit forward and left, just like you're taking a nice stroll, right foot about two inches in front of the left. And you might change it up, try it a little wider. You might try it with straight legs, maybe with bent knees. It's no exact way, it's just encouraging you to get curious, to notice there's places in your body that maybe are super easy to access and other places that it's really hard. Feet to hands, let the head go, shake it out, and then start to draw the feet in towards each other. Big toes touch, bend the knees, inhale rise up, chair pose. So aiming into here, utkatasana twist. If you do keep the feet spread apart, keep the knees a little wider, in line with the ankles. Exhale, let's bring the hands to the heart and we're going to twist to the left. So if you can, hook the left elbow over the thigh or you can stay upright in this big open twist. Also if your arms are a little longer or a little more flexible, you can take the hand to the floor. So make it your own. But in either place, a sweet draw back of the right hip, you can draw the right knee back, lower the sit bone, and that same action of like lifting the heart up and away. So that little back bend, the draw of the chin in. Inhale, come to center. Exhale, fold in. Other side, bend the knees, inhale rise up, utkatasana. It's a quick, easy way to build some heat. Hands to heart. I like to sit a little deeper, take my torso long, get in for the twist. I use the palms to press to lift my heart up and away. So again, adding that little back bend. A little draw of left hip, left knee back. Inhale, come back to center. Exhale, fold. Then inhale, rise up, utkatasana. Okay, from here, take the arms out. We're gonna lift up onto the balls of feet. So your choice, the feet can stay together. Again, the knees then stay together, or the feet can be hip distance. Stay in utkatasana, lift up onto the balls of the feet, and there will be some angajamayatva, some shaking of the limbs. Lower down about a third of the way. If the heels drop down, just lift them back up. It's even come down about two-thirds. Squeeze in, keep the heart lifted. It's even come down about a third and pause, and smiles, always extra credit. Good. Exhale, come all the way down. Hands to the floor, and then I'm gonna turn towards you as we move into side bhakasana, parsva bhakasana. Okay, we're gonna start making our way to parsva side bhakasana. So you're gonna start to work your hands over to the right, and how I like to get into this is starting to move towards chaturanga arms, and I'll work my feet forward. But this is totally fine and happy to stay right here if you want to play in this twist. Or bring the palms down, hook the elbow. I like to drift my toes forward, and then just kind of dip over, bend the elbows, stack the knees. Alright, so lift in, draw right into your center. Shoulders trying to stay up with elbows. And one more breath. Good. Bring the feet down, readjust onto the toes, work the hands over to the left. You can find the chest lifting and A, stay here, or start to find the hook of the elbow. Plant the palms, walk the toes forward as you kind of dip like you're tipping a teapot, and then hang out here. Right, you might use your left arm as a little kickstand, or eventually your body will be off your left arm. Good. Come back to center. Excellent. From here, we're going to go into a reverse table, stack the feet, toes facing forward, fingertips facing the heels. Inhale, lift the pubic bone, lift the heart. Option to keep chin to chest, or start to take the head back, creating a shelf with your shoulder blades. And then exhale, let the sit bones come down, legs come out long. Inhale, take the arms up to lengthen through the torso, and exhale, fold forward. Good. Take another inhale to lift the heart forward. If you can reach the feet, draw the outer edges back. If not, use the hands on the floor, hands on the shins. Two more breaths. Continue to inhale, taking the heart forward. Exhale to settle in. Sometimes that door opens for a little deeper stretch. It's on an inhale, rise up. Find yourself on your back. Lower down nice and slow. Knees into chest, just give a little wiggle, side to side. And then one leg at a time, come into our final pose, shavasana. Alright, as you adjust and make yourself comfortable, palms up, shoulders soften in. See if you can stay with your breath each moment, starting with a deep full inhale. Full complete exhale. Using our breath to keep us completely in the moment.

Neither choosing to stay right here for a longer shavasana. Beginning to move a bit to join me in a seat. For those joining me in a seat, you can take your arms overhead. Just a gentle roll to one side. Pressing up to a comfortable seat. And as you transition, try not to disturb yourself. When you arrive in a seat, bring your hands to your heart, just bowing in lightly towards yourself. Thank you for sharing your time. Thank you for diving into twists with me. Such a great way to relieve stress, to detox, and to access our spine. Many blessings. Namaste.


Janeissy A
4 people like this.
@Brenda Lear, thank you so much for this awesome practice. Right timing. It was challenging but Oh so energizing. Namaste :)
Sandy T
1 person likes this.
I feel lighter!!!! This definitely showed just how wound up I am. Thanks!!!! Namaste 🙏
Laura M
2 people like this.
I really loved this one, eventually I will do the side crow. Thanks Brenda!
Mary B
Great Season 4 Series!!
Sandra Židan
Nice practice! Thanks, Brenda! 💝

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial