It’s all about creating more space.
Fresh off a plane, Los Angeles-based yogi Lauren Taus joined us in the Health studio for a quick yoga session, and let’s say that we are impressed. Taus combined her experience as a clinical therapist and yoga instructor to walk us through a flow that aids the digestive system through twisting movements.
If you ever hear a yoga instructor rave about the benefits of twists, it’s because these moves are “creating more space inside for effective organ function,” says Taus. These types of stretches are perfect whenever you’re coming off a flight, have cramps, or feel bloated, she adds.
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By twisting, we increase the spine’s ability to move in that direction, and “when we continue to practice twisting, we have more agility and flexibility which allows for us to be more protected in life,” Taus says.
Taus began the session lying on her back, and instructed us to bring the soles of our feet together, keeping knees open wide. Resting one hand on the heart and the other on the stomach, Taus took some deep breaths. In the Reclined Bound Angle pose, she asked us to really pay attention to our breath.
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Next, Taus seamlessly transitioned into a Supine Spinal Twist, reaching her arms overhead, stretching her legs out long, and then hugging the right knee to her chest, bringing it over to the left side. To activate the twist, she looked over her right shoulder and held that pose for 15-20 seconds to get a deep stretch.
Taus then moved to her hands and knees into a Cat-Cow position, where she instructed us to inhale, sink the belly, lift the heart, and exhale while rounding our back. While in this position, she encouraged us to move our bodies around, making circular movements with the spine. This way, she explained, we can find more mobility, which allows for increased space and more effective digestion.
Taus practiced a Half Lord Of the Fishes Pose towards the end of the yoga flow, twisting her body while educating us on our breath. “Every inhalation works to lengthen the spine, and every exhalation works to deepen the twist,” she said. “You broaden the space across your chest, and you notice any tendency to collapse, and continue to work towards spaciousness and expansion.”