Twists – to remove sluggishness and to energize the body


Do you feel irritable, sluggish, even depressed or anxious in the morning?

This could be due to the change of seasons, from winter to spring.  Yoga poses, especially twists are very beneficial as they move the energy around the body, they help to trim down, create space in the spine and also useful in the management of scoliosis.

As spring kicks in the liver and gall bladder become more active as their alkalising properties are ready to clean out the damp of the cold winter season and increase the flow of energy and blood around the body.

When these organs are depleted you may experience the sluggishness and negative thoughts.  It is important to relax and stay calm for the liver not to become over-heated, try to let go of repetitive, negative thoughts – practice gentle exercise and meditate.

A sluggish liver will also affect the digestive system in many ways and may even thicken the blood causing more serious health problems.  The liver feeds your body 2 litres of bile every day and ensures a free flow of energy throughout the body; the gall bladder stores the bile.  Once you spring clean these organs you will feel a sense of liberation, connectedness and calmness, you will have a free spirit.

Practice twists to massage and strengthen the liver, squeezing out the build up and helping to release the bile.

Twists are my favourite poses, apart from massaging the liver they help to release the lower back and are very versatile as they can be done sitting on the floor, sitting on a chair or standing –  can be done anywhere.

For all twists follow these simple steps:

  • As you inhale lengthen the spine, sit tall or stand tall.
  • As you exhale start turning.  Feel the twist is coming from the lower back (which does not move much), then from thoracic spine (which is the most flexible) and finally the upper back, neck and the head turns (if it is there for you).  Be careful when turning the neck as the vertabrae are very delicate!
  • Stay for a few cycles of the breath in one position.
  • If you feel you can twist more do it on exhalation.
  • Slowly come out of the pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Sitting on the floor or outside:

Sitting on a chair or bench – the arm position can be varied:

Standing twist is also helpful to manage scoliosis:



If you have time include side bends which will draw the energy into the liver and open the meridians (energy centres) of the liver and gall bladder; they also open all the organs to receive the flow of blood and energy.

Back bends help to detoxify the body and open up the chest.  They will give renewed energy and increased self confidence.  The next blog will be about back bends.

Maintain a healthy diet with lots of Lots of alkalizing foods throughout the day such as sprouts, which also contain lots of protein, bitter dark green leaves in the way of sorrel and rocket and yummy celery sticks to snack on, try some baby beets and asparagus too.  Snack on the more alkalizing nuts such as walnuts, hazelnuts, brazils and almonds.

Enjoy your practice!



Published by yogateachermary

Yoga teacher - specializing in teaching over 50's, seniors and the not so supple. Qualified 'Relax and Renew' teacher, mediation facilitator and experienced in teaching chair yoga in class or in retirement villages.

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