Regular practice of yoga asanas (postures) that bring a twisting influence to the spine have many benefits. Examples of twisting postures include the 3 versions of Marichyasana (see picture below).
Twisting postures release tension from the posterior extensor muscles (i.e. the collection of muscles in your back that support you when you stand and help you when you lift an object). In so doing, the twisting postures also help a practitioner retain whatever flexibility has been gained in preceding postures (like forward bending and back bending positions).
The sequence of twisting postures in Prana Vashya Yoga is also designed to remove the negative influence of air. Air is obviously a good thing when present in your lungs. However, when air is present in, for example, the gastrointestinal line, it is considered to be toxic.
The gastrointestinal line (“the GI Line”) is the pathway from the mouth to the oesophagus, through to the stomach, then down the small and large intestines and to the rectum. Air can get trapped anywhere along the GI Line. Once air has been in the body for 4 hours or more, it becomes apanic air (i.e. dead air) and is a toxin to the body. The first version of Marichyasana (A) is a twisting posture that removes apanic air from the walls of the GI Line into the center. Marichyasana (B) compresses the lower aspect of the body to allow apanic air to escape from the start of the GI Line (as air always moves from higher pressure to lower pressure; like water always runs downhill). Marichyasana (C) compresses the upper aspect of the body to allow apanic air to escape from the end of the GI Line.
By regularly practicing these 3 Marichyasana postures alone, you will gain better freedom in the GI Line, which results in better digestion and metabolism and you will be much less likely to develop any spinal issues in later life.
Damian is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga. Damian will be opening a Yoga School at 250 Queens Road, Leicester, LE2 3FU in February 2017. Spaces will be limited so please register your interest by contacting Damian: email@example.com Tel: 0777 900 1896