Bend It Like Bex Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Twist, Unspool, and Rinse

35 min - Practice


Twists wring out the old and make room for the new. In her usual manner, Bex allows us to arrive with a 3-minute meditation. We begin to move with an opening seated twisting sequence, weaving in a few techniques from our Kundalini friends. Bex enthusiastically flows through a strengthening and opening pattern of standing twisting postures. We cool down and rest. You will feel rinsed, fresh and invigorated.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(ocean waves crashing) Welcome, I'm Bex, and this is a twisting practice for release and rinsing. Come to a seated meditation. Close your eyes. No, you don't have to be crosslegged. Whatever is comfortable for you, you can elevate your pelvis on a bolster, just find that space where you allow yourself to drop right back in.

You get absorbed in your breath, you lengthen tall through the spine, you widen the collarbones, feeling that silent connection that is always there and that deep wisdom. If the thoughts are moving quickly or there are big spaces, gaps, just keep returning to the breath. Sometimes I consider the thought like a leaf falling in a stream, and the breath is the stream, and you just notice the leaf, and you notice how the current moves it. The thought will appear, and just as likely, if you let yourself not cling to it, it will disappear. You breathe in a way that cultivates space ...

You allow your authentic self to just shine right back in that breath as you return, as you center, as you find yourself deeply in this moment. Bring your hands to your heart center in prayer. Pick an intention for the practice, a possible release, a dedication, or a mantra. Head bows to the heart, heart rises, and then your eyes open. We'll begin with a very gentle twist.

Right hand behind you, so you grab for whatever you can grab, and you're just waiting. It's not like you got to get the thigh, it's the first twist, the hand comes back, and bring that chin in line with the sternum and slowly feel the breath there. You might even notice that ... That five degrees, 10 degrees, 15 degrees, of rotation. You can feel your breath, and you feel whatever you feel, and you just be with it.

(purposeful breathing) Then slowly come back through center. Now the right hand will grab hold of the opposite calf, and the left-hand, ankle. The left hand will go wherever it likes. Sit up real tall. There's a tendency to round and hunch, right?

When we're in slumping asana, we know were not breathing as efficiently, and also that it's not gonna support that twist, so really up right, and then as you twist, a softening. Come back through center. Gently place your hands on your knees. If you like, you can switch your feet. We have a habitual one foot that comes in, in Sukhasan, in that comfortable pose, and I know, for me, it's my right one just likes to be there.

When I switch, and it goes, "Oh, this is unfamiliar," you just meet that with, "Okay, it's unfamiliar." Then go around in a clockwise direction, you're rocking around the pelvis. Feels like you're sitting on a tilt-a-whirl. This is always a fun way to begin, if you close your eyes, and you get in touch with that inner child who used to like to roll around, roll down hills, over hills, and then if you were to go outside and do that right now, and you did it just twice, you'd probably feel nauseous, but you remember that that exists. When we clock the pelvis, we're just going for looping and space and you'll finish this round. Take a deep inhale, sit up tall.

Then go the other direction. That twist is happening, and in my minds eye, I'm seeing a sit bone, a pubic bone, sit bone, tailbone. All of it, like a baseball diamond rocking around. It doesn't matter how fast you go, or how slow you go, it's just finding that sweet spot where you notice, "Well, I don't often do this during the day. Isn't it interesting?" so you feel it and breathe.

Then complete that round, sit up tall. Either choose to keep the feet where they are, or switch them once again. Now you will imagine you're sitting on a horse that's going for a walk, so the pelvis rounds and then it arches, it rounds and then it arches. If you really like the expression, you can go a little deeper, and bring it into a deeper flex, and extend. If you're feeling like the body's not ready for that yet, you're just sitting and rocking back and forth, back and forth, waking up at the base of the pelvis, to go into all the dimensions.

Often during the day, we stay in one pattern, and we very rarely cross it. Then you'll stop, and we'll add here what I call the parentheses, so it's like you're sitting on the washing machine, and it's on the spin cycle. This usually just gives you the kind of feeling that you're moving, rocking side-to-side, and it gets to, what I call, get some of the gristle, the grit, off the sit bones that tend to kind of grab hold and hold on, so you just feel that. It's kind of exciting. Then you stop.

Breathe. Your left hand goes to the left, right arm reaches over, side bending over to the left. I call this the side seaweed. I don't know the Sanskrit name. Inhale, come up, go over to the other side, bend the right elbow, reach, and then come up, inhale, and go over.

You really wanna make it feel delicious, like not forced. If the side bend goes too deep, too early, it can almost feel like, "Oh, why?" Be in that space where you're just enjoying the "Ohh," and feeling that side bending. We'll do one more round. Then you come towards center, the arms are like goal posts, and you will do a gentle twist. The twists can be very small, or if you're feeling super invigorated today, you can make it big.

Just make certain that you're in that safe range where you feel honest about the movement, and mindful. You're not throwing your body around, you're feeling like you're creating the bigness from the inside. I often imagine my palms facing me, bringing in my own energy, and kind of creating this natural bright gold force field around me as I roll, and twist through, and breathe. When my arms go, "Wow, this is a little more "challenging than I thought," I have that inner smile that's like, "It's all breath. It's all breath." Couple more rounds. Then hold toward the center, and then bend the elbows, and inhale, reach up, and exhale bend.

Inhale up and bend. Now do about a dozen more on your own, inhaling and exhaling. It's always sweet to close the eyes so you can just feel that flight that's happening in the arms. Breathe and even lift a little bit more, (purposeful loud breathing) and then slowly release. Arms come down.

Come into downward-facing dog. Your legs will probably really appreciate down dog, I know mine will. You peddle the feet, and as you peddle your feet here, you're just kinda working through the spaces, you may even bend the left knee a little deeply and kinda let yourself uncrease the outer hip if it felt like that was happening. Then you smooth the breath out, you use the platform of the hands to feel the feedback of the earth, that current from the core moving through you. Let the skin on the back of the neck relax.

Lift through the sit bones, so the pelvis kind of feels like it accelerates away from the ribs. Then just ripple forward, and lift the sit bones, and extend back. Round and rippled forward, and lift the sit bones and extend back. Like you're kind of a wave in the current of the ocean ... And back.

Right, that's what Rumi said: "You're not a drop in the ocean, "you are the ocean in a drop." Step the right foot forward, lower the left knee down, inhale, reached the arms up. If reaching the arms up feels compromised for the shoulders, grab for an opposite elbow, kinda begin to wriggle out of the rib cage, and breathe, and lift. Press into that back foot. Then slowly place the hands down to frame the right foot, back into the plank. You will knees, chest, chin it.

(foreign) and then slowly come into low cobra, pushing back through child's pose. Downward-facing dog. You hydrate the tissue in the body with your breath, so just take a couple rounds here. (purposeful breathing) Stack the left foot forward, lower the right knee down. Again, as the arms come up, you can grab for an opposite elbow if that feels more accessible, or reach the arms up and back, lift the heart center.

(purposeful breathing) Exhale, the hands to the floor. Step the back foot forward, inhale, lift the chest, exhale, fold. Bend the right knee, right fingertips on the floor, left hand on the hip, easy twist to the left. Then left hand down, left knee bends, right hand hip, easy twist. Do three more rounds of these on your own breath.

Deeply just absorbing in whatever feels right for you. (purposeful breathing) When you complete that last round, fold forward and drown, Uttanasana. Let the hands hang down, heel, toe, the feet to touch, unless you prefer a bigger, wider stance. Bend the knees and roll up slowly. (purposeful breathing) Hands come to your heart center in prayer.

Inhale, arms come up, look up, exhale, fold forward, and down. Inhale, lift the chest. Exhale, the right leg back, knee to the mat, top of the foot down, left hand to the left crease of the hip, easy twist here. Easy twist, note the way that the bottom shoulder tends to kinda hike up. See if you can release that by recruiting the side body, and then inhale and reach.

Stretch the left arm over, place the left hand down, come into the plank pose. Inhale, exhale, knees, chest, chin, slide forward, take low cobra, inhaling. Push back as you exhale to child's. Downward-facing dog. Lift and step the right foot forward, knee down, top of the foot down, thumb in the crease of the hip.

Then reach up so that left shoulder maintains shoulder, elbow, wrist stacking, and then you just see, is it possible to push into the back leg shin to help propel a deeper twist. Right hand on the floor, back foot forward, inhale, lift the chest, exhale, fold. Deep bend in the knees, Utkatasanaso. Come into a katasana, let the seat go back, thread the hands through the heart center in prayer, and take the right elbow outside the left knee. There's a habit where the right knee will slide forward, so you just have to look down, check it out, slide it back, and then begin to twist, and breathe.

Again, in this shape, as you approach the twist you bring the seat back, and you just feel where you are. You're not forcing that twist, you're just breathing. (purposeful breathing) Take the hands behind the back, leave the fingers fold, chest on thighs, (purposeful breathing) then inhale, hands to the heart center in prayer. Do the other side, left elbow outside right knee, mindful of the left knee, and twist. (purposeful breathing) Come back through center, switch the clasp of the hands, fold, chest on thighs, nice little gentle reminder that you have more available and you just breathe into it.

(purposeful breathing) Place the hands on the mat. Step the left leg back, and then the right, inhale to the plank. Knees, chest, chin. Slide forward, low cobra, inhale. Exhale, push back, child's.

Downward-facing dog. Step the right foot forward, warrior one. Inhale here. Coming into warrior one, reach the arms up, hold yourself steady here. (purposeful breathing) bring the hands the heart center in prayer and take the left elbow outside the right knee.

If you would like to come off of the back heel, that is fine. You breathe here and you twist. (purposeful breathing) Hands come down, take the right leg back. Now you the option for knees, chest, chin, or you come into the plank and you can cycle through, rolling over the toes ... An Up-Dog often feels great after a twist.

Downward-facing dog. Step the left foot forward, right heel in, inhale, warrior one. (purposeful breathing) Hands come to the heart center in prayer, twisting. Again, you can come off the back heel. If balance is an issue for you, you could lower the back knee down to the floor.

(purposeful breathing) Both hands on the mat, inhale to the plank. If Child's Pose is calling you, feel free to take it, otherwise cycle through one more time. Chaturanga, inhale, upward-facing, exhale, downward-facing. Take the right hand in the center of the mat. If you'd like to be on your forearm or your right knee for Vasisthasana, that's fine.

Inhale, come up. You could look down to the mat, you can look straight to the whatever's in front of you, or up, lifting through the side body, breathing. Then reach over, place the left hand down back into the plank. Steady yourself, place the left hand in the middle the mat onto the left forearm, knee if you'd like. Inhale, reach up.

(purposeful breathing) Hands come down, come into the plank, and then into child's pose. Take a deep round of breath, here. (purposeful breathing) Downward-facing dog. Step the right foot forward, left heel in, come back into warrior one. Ground through the outer seam of both your feet, lift up through the crown of the head.

Now bring the hands to your heart center in prayer, come off of the back heel, find your balance and place your left hand on the floor, or a block, or whatever you need. Right hand in the right hip, shift the weight into the right leg. Now, you might stay right here and be pleased with this. Breathe. Or you would lift the right arm up, as you lift to the left leg for Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana, the twisting half-moon.

You lift the leg, lift it, breathe, and then steer the outer right hip back, and see if you can find something that you can delight in in this shape. Gently place the right hand down, step the left leg back, plank pose. Inhaling here, feel the benefits of that link, and then child's pose, Chaturanga, low cobra, or Up-Dog, inhale, downward facing dog. You just treat yourself by, after that twist, finding, "What is it I really want to do?" Step the left foot forward, warrior one, inhale, feel the strength and the hero within you, right? That's what this shape is all about, the strength and the hero within.

Hands come to the heart center in prayer, onto the back toes, right hand to the floor, left hand to the hip, shift and lift, flex the foot. The more active the leg in the air, the better it is for you, the easier. You may even wanna slide that right hand forward, and then gently reach up with the left arm. Breathe. Keep the face soft and very attractive.

Then exhale, left hand down, right leg back, left leg back, downward-facing dog. Breathe. It's all just a breathing, moving meditation, so wherever you are, if you're caught up in working for something, some pose, some shape, just go back to your breath. Settle in there and let that remind you you have everything you need, you are enough. It is all there and you don't know everything there is to know about yourself and that's exciting.

Step the right foot forward, come into warrior one, inhale. We're gonna be rebels in this practice because we're to go into revolved triangle without ever doing triangle. Straighten the right leg, shorten the stance, place your hands on your hips to kind of square the hips, and I'm a big fan ... If it feels congested in the contents of your pelvis, of taking the left left a little left, giving yourself a wider base here. Use the hands to help you as you hinge forward.

Little bend in the front knee, if you need it, and then you can use both hands down. You could stay right there and breathe, and a lot would be happening, or you could take the left hand in the inside, the top of, or the outside of the right foot, and then the right hand in the right hip. That might be enough to go, "Yes, this is where I wanna be," or you play a little bit more of your edge in your twist, and you twist a little deeper, or you play a little more the edge, and you extend, and you navigate the breath. The current here might be strong and the waves might feel like they're kind of pulling at you, so you ask yourself, "Where could I back off?" Then slowly you place the right hand down, and the left hands down, and then you bend the right knee, and you come into down-dog. You can stay in down-dog or cycle through Vinyasa.

Then with enthusiasm, you step the left foot forward, come into warrior one. What could happen on the side? You have no idea. Straighten the left leg, hands to the hips, shorten the stance, feel for where you are, breathe. The shoulders are stacked, almost over the pelvis, and then you hinge forward and down, bending a little in the left knee if you need it. Both hands to frame the foot.

Then you just settle in, and ask, "Where do I wanna go?" and you'll know, "Oh, I'm gonna take the hand out on the side," and breathe, and you just wait. Then you reach. Then every once in a while, you kinda flirt with, "Hmm, could I move the hip back?" Breathe. Can I find someplace that I'm overworking and work less? I gotta feel it in my throat so I just breathe.

(purposeful breathing) Hand comes down, knee bends, plank all the way to the floor. So happy. You find the floor, very grateful that it receives you. Roll the thigh bones in, slowly inhale, lift into the cobra. Breathe here two more rounds.

(purposeful breathing) Exhale, release. Push onto all fours. Come on to all fours for threading through, threading the needle. Left arm out to the side, bring it through. There are many ways to do this pose.

I prefer to have the thigh bones vertical and the shinbones horizontal. The other ways aren't wrong, that's just not what I'm asking for right now. Steer your right hip back, and use your left armed just thread through, and the right arm to press into the floor. If you feel like you don't need the right arm, extend it forward, and then smooth the breath out. If you're wondering where else you could go, you could take the right arm behind, toward the outer left hip.

It's all just a preference. When you come out, you come out slowly, gracefully, because coming out is part of the pose. Then very, very smoothly, onto all fours, you will round and arch, coming into the neutral, right arm out to the right, and then through. Right ear on the mat, and then you find that space where you're stacking best that you can, and you come onto the tinted left fingertips to give you a little bit more juice, and twist. Palm can be up or down on the right hand.

Then the left arm can reach forward or you can thread it behind. Slowly, gracefully, make your way out. Rounding. Extending. Child's pose.

With ease, you'll simply sit up, and then you sit onto your bottom, turn around onto your back, and go ahead and lie down. You'll lie down on your back for a moment here. If that moment feels like its calling you to just stay, then obviously, listen to that, and just stay here. Otherwise, bring the feet in for a moment, and just settle. Then gently prepare for Halasana, plow.

The legs can be straight. If you prefer, you can bend the knees. The feet come over the head, maybe the feet find the mat, and then very slowly, press the hands into the floor. You breathe here deeply. (purposeful breathing) Some people like to interlace and clasp.

You could do that. Very slowly, you'll roll out, taking your time as you roll out. If you get to a point where you'd like to bend the knees, go ahead and do that. The heels will slide close to the sit bones, and then you will turn the palms of the hands up, as you lift and roll onto the back of the head for a modified fish pose. In that pose, just let yourself breathe, and feel a waterfall of release through the middle of the back A breath here, refreshing, opening.

Then slowly back onto the head, hug the knees into the chest. You've done a wonderful job rinsing and twisting, and releasing. You might feel even slightly invigorated. You'll still take the time, make the time for Savasana. Shimmy whatever needs to be moved, out, let the legs go, the arms go, and close your eyes.

(purposeful breathing) You can stay here as long as you like, or begin to deepen the breath with a more alert sense, wiggle the fingers and the toes, wriggle the wrists and the ankles, stretch the hands over the head and reach, knees into the chest as you roll to the right side, and then slowly come up to seated. Hands at the heart center in prayer. Inhale. (humming a mantra) The light in the divine within me salutes and honors the light in the divine in you. Namaste.


2 people like this.
This practice felt really great after two hours of driving on Southern California freeways.
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Bex. So good!
My back feels really open! Nice slow pace for opening! :)
I definitely feel "rinsed"! Thx Bex
This video is broken! It stops playing at 7:07
Hannah, you are right! Thank you so much for telling us. Will fix! Meanwhile, you can find more of Bex's practices in her Show, Bend it Like Bex.
Best, Kira
Hannah Seems like we got it fixed! Thank you again! xokira
Loved this practice, especially the fun opening sequence. Shiny golden force field! I need that!
Fabulous practice thanks
Rebecca I just rediscovered this practice so great thanks
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