in the november edition of "i've got your back" we talk about how to do a deep and healthy spinal twist that is great for digestion, as well as provides an antidote for slouching and bracing against those cold winds.
this spinal twist may be a little different than you're used to! it's important to go slow and to build from the bottom up so that the entire spine gets attention.
:: start by sitting tall ::
the tallest you've been all day! imagine your spine hanging from the crown of your head. this shouldn't take too much effort, but should feel like you're tall and free and balanced. we'll build the twist slowly over a couple of breaths, your arms just follow along and save your place but aren't the ones getting out ahead of you and forcing the motion tto happen.
:: twist your belly button towards one side ::
just your belly button! we're moving the lumbar spine first, the bottom vertebrae. even though we're thinking about the belly button moving, it's really the spine at the height of your belly button that is twisting. take an inhale and make sure you're sitting up nice and tall before you twist deeper.
:: twist your bottom ribs to the side ::
here the lowest part of your ribcage comes over to one side. you'll start to feel this across your abdomen, the intestings getting wrung out and activated a little bit. it's totally normal to experience a little burp here! your arms may begin to walk over to the side now, but remember, they're following along, not leading the motion. take an inhale and get tall, staying in this twist, but upright and long before moving deeper.
:: twist your sternum / breastbone to the side ::
the spot right in the center of your chest now spirals to the side. your spine is starting to really get twsited now and that's great! i imagine the spine as the pole in the middle of a spiral staircase, or that there's almost a dna helix wrap around the spine. use your arms to save your place, inhale and get nice and tall ocne again!
:: twist your collarbones to the side ::
this will probably be a minor movement! and again, it's the spine at the level of the collarbones that is twisitng, so don't worry about moving your shoulder blades or your arms into any extreme position. keep your elbows close to your body and focus on the twist happening around the central axis of your spine.
:: stay for a couple of breaths before unwinding ::
every inhale you can get a little taller, every exhale you might find a little bit more, just a tiny bit more, to wring out and release. don't use too much effort! good alignment and attention will do a lot more good for your body than a major but thoughtless yank around.
:: repeat on the other side! ::
if you have any questions, about these practices or others, don't hesitate to reach out! my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and i love to chat about bodies :)
listen to the full interview here, and stay tuned the last wednesday of the month for "i've got your back" at 8:20(ish) on wtip.org's north shore morning show!