February Twist of the Month - Prayer Twist

The lovely Annie in Prayer Twist
The lovely Annie in Prayer Twist

After a season filled with indulgences, holiday parties and family, one of the best ways to get rid of excess stress and toxins is by practicing deep, detoxifying twists. Prayer Twist will rinse away your post-holiday stress and help get you on the road to a healthy 2015.

Prayer Twist has many variations, so it is accessible for all skill levels.

There are many benefits of Prayer Twist:

Model: Annie Bishop (yoga teacher and Lake Oswego resident)

Parivrtta Utkatasana – Twisted Chair / Prayer Twist

  • Strengthens the lower body - especially hip flexors, thighs and glutes.
  • Cleanses and detoxifies the inner organs — think liver!
  • Opens the chest and shoulders - perfect after all that hunched over time wrapping gifts.
  • Increases the range of motion in the ankles — the result of those oh-so-sexy high heeled party shoes.
  • Stretches and strengthens the back and calf muscles, and lengthens the spine.
  • To perform Prayer Twist: 1. On an inhale, stand comfortably, preferably barefoot on a flat surface. 3. On an exhale, lower the torso down (like you are sitting in a chair) and rest the left elbow on the right knee. 4. Inhale and bring the hands into prayer position- roughly at the center of your chest. 5. On the exhale, twist right — over the knee. Be aware of keeping shoulders down from the ears and back straight. The head stays in line with the spine, and the forward gaze is soft. 6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to one minute, and repeat on the other side for as many times as feels good to your body. 7. Don't forget to breathe. And smile! ;-)

Like all twists, it is important to keep the alignment of your hips square in order to protect your joints. You can keep your hips square by aligning your knees and feet together, and putting equal weight into both feet. Imagine you have headlights on your hips, and you want to shine them both forward.

Practice Prayer Twist whenever you feel stress, tightness, or need some detoxification. Bring on 2015! Don't forget to snap a photo of yourself in Prayer Twist, post it on social media and tag it with #twistofthemonth and get entered to win awesome swag.