afriske

Different twists? What are the differences?

5 posts in this topic

Hi Candace!

I notice in many classes there are quite a few different types of spinal twists, both supine and sitting. I was just wondering what the difference is between them. For instance, what's the difference between having the knees together on one side, while laying down, versus a regular supine spinal twist? Do they have different benefits? Teachers usually say one might be tougher than the other (like putting a foot on top of a knee) but I haven't noticed that. Do they just stretch different muscles? I'm very curious about this, because supine twists feel amazing to me.

Thanks!

YogaByCandace and robert like this

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That's a great question!

One way to look at is efficiency - sometimes it is just more efficient to move into a supine twist than to sit up and move into a seated twist. The other is that the different twists vary in complexity and intensity. Generally I would say that a supine twist is more passive, meaning that you have to do less work - gravity pretty much does all the work for you. But a seated twist you'll notice that the core has to engage more in order to keep the spine lifting tall, you may also end up with a hip opener in there too - so it's kind of like a 2-for-1!

 

afriske and robert like this

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Thank you for your response. Yeah I definitely feel a difference while doing certain twists. I just wonder what muscles I'm stretching. It might be something a yoga anatomy book can answer. For some reason I really am curious because of how freaking yummy supine twists are at the end of the practice but depending on how my legs and arms are, they feel different. It's interesting how the tiniest of changes make a difference. 

YogaByCandace likes this

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I don't know how I missed this when you posted it earlier in the month, I'm sorry. Lately I feel like I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off! 

Anyway, I don't think there are different benefits between the two supine spinal twists. Just that for people with limited mobility, two legs over may be more accessible than one leg over. I also like eagle legs for a third, fun variation :)  As for supine vs seated - you may feel a deeper hip stretch in the seated twist just because you can use the elbow against the leg to control the depth of the twist, whereas like BrenSkip said, the supine is more passive. And then of course you have the chair pose twist - essentially a standing twist but in chair pose and that's not so relaxing or releasing haha. So, kind of a vague answer, but I do hope it helps a bit? I apologize again for the lag in response time.

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