Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I missed twists (say it three times fast!)

The benefits one reaps from the category of asanas known as twists are numerous. Twists squeeze and detoxify the organs, they can ease upper and lower back pain, they improve circulation and they nourish tissue for a suppler spine. And that's just to name a few.

Yet, before I was pregnant I didn't like twists. Not because they were difficult. I found them rather easy. I didn't enjoy twists because they were boring. I really didn't see the point and I didn't feel anything when I practiced them. They weren't so much uncomfortable as they were unfamiliar. I am a veteran of many exercise regimes and none had ever really required me to twist. (Note to self, whenever I feel uncomfortable, there is probably a lesson to be learned.)

So, since I didn't like them, mostly I just didn't do them.

Then came pregnancy. One really shouldn't do twists when pregnant. At least not deep twists. The reasons are probably obvious. The twisting occurs right where that little baby is. Not only would it be extremely uncomfortable, it could also be unsafe.  Additionally, it's probably not a good idea to detoxify organs while pregnant.

So, there I was pregnant and not practicing twists, when, lo and behold, I missed twists! Who knew?  At first I thought it might just be because I wasn't allowed to do them. Generally I don't appreciate being told not to do something. But no, it was more than that. Like some women crave ice cream or chocolate when pregnant, I craved twists.

Now that I'm no longer pregnant, I have happily incorporated twists into my regular practice. The funny thing is that they aren't so easy anymore. As it goes with most poses, I wasn't really practicing twists correctly. That's why they felt so easy and boring. Now that I've learned about the benefits of twists as well as correct alignment, I love the challenge. I also just love how they feel. I’m learning to love all twists, but my favorites are Bharadvajasana I (simple twist), Ardha Matsyendrasana (half lord of the fishes pose), and Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle pose).

Twists, it's nice to have you back!