6 Yoga Twists To Help You Release The Past + Make Room For The Future

Photo: Yogic Photos, Dana Tarasavage

Feeling stuck? Stagnant? Do you believe that things will never change? Then it’s time to ignite the fire from within. It’s time to burn away the past to create space for a better future to emerge. It’s time to twist and wring out every fiber of your being.

As humans, we have a tendency to hold onto every experience that crosses our path. Whether they are negative, positive, or neutral, it doesn’t matter. If we are not living consciously, we absorb them all. Over the course of time, the toxic attachments prevent us from reaching our true potential. They weigh us down by extinguishing our inner fire and diminishing our light. They prevent us from growing. They prevent us from evolving.

The act of contorting the body into varied shapes purifies every layer of your being. Internal and external. Mind and body.

When we find ourselves dwelling on the past—consciously or subconsciously—there is no space left to create a more positive future. When the mind and body are loaded to maximum capacity with negative attachments, you are unable to imagine anything better. This unfortunate occurrence prevents us from improving our circumstances as we become paralyzed with fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety prevent us from moving forward in a new direction.

When you practice yoga, specifically twists, you are physically and figuratively wringing out the old to make room for the new. Each and every twist plays its part in facilitating the process of shedding the restrictive layers of your conditioning. Twisting encourages the healing progression of releasing fears that have been holding you back. When you ignite the fire from within, you begin to burn away all the baggage that has been taking up precious space in your energy field for far too long.

Not only is twisting incredibly beneficial for the spine, internal organs, digestion, and detoxification; it is vital when it comes to personal growth. The act of contorting the body into varied shapes purifies every layer of your being. Internal and external. Mind and body. If you are ready to release the past and experience long-awaited positive change, it’s time to roll out the yoga mat and burn away all that stagnant energy!

Reclined Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Lie flat on your back with your knees tucked into your chest. Extend the left arm out to the side and turn the head to look at the left hand. Swing the knees to the right and let the right hand rest on top of the left knee. Take several deep breaths and then repeat on the opposite side.

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Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

From a seated position, place the right foot on top of the left thigh in half lotus. Place the left foot beside the right hip. Do not sit on the left foot; just place it outside of the hip. Lengthen the spine on an inhale and turn the torso toward the right on an exhale. Twist from length, not compression. Place the left hand outside of the right knee. Bring the right arm behind the lower back and grab the right foot as best you can. If the bind is not happening just yet, just place the fingertips of the right hand on the mat behind you. Breathe. Repeat on the opposite side.

Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)

Place the right foot at the top of the mat with the left foot about 3 feet behind you, left toes pointing toward the front of the mat at a 45-degree angle. Take the left hand and place it on the outside of the right leg (or on a block). If this is too much, just keep the left hand on the inside of the right foot on a block. It does not really matter where the hand is; what matters the most is that you are twisting from the waist and opening up the chest. Stretch the right arm up toward the sky. Take several deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.

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Revolved Crescent Lunge (Parivṛtta Aṅjaneyāsana)

Start in crescent pose. Bring the hands together in prayer. Slowly twist the torso to the left and place the right elbow outside of the left knee. Press the elbow into the knee for leverage to allow the chest to open up and face the left side of the space. Breathe. Repeat on the opposite side.

Marichi’s Pose 1: Bound Twist Variation (Marichyasana)

Start by sitting upright on the mat in staff pose. Keep the right leg stretched out and bend the left leg in, placing the sole of the left foot on the floor. Reach the right arm behind the lower back. Then wrap the left arm around the front of the left shin. Work on getting the hands to meet each other, interlacing the fingers. If the bind is not happening yet, it’s OK! Just keep practicing and it will come in time. Breathe. Repeat on the opposite side.

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Revolved Chair Pose (Parivrtta Utkatasana)

Start in chair pose. Bring the hands together in prayer and slowly twist to the left, placing the right elbow outside the left knee. Press the elbow into the knee for leverage to open the chest toward the left side of the space. Breathe. Repeat on the opposite side.

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