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When you’re working hard to maintain your flexibility as you age, one of the poses you will  want to include in your stretching routine is scissor twist.

Twists are an essential part of any stretching routine because they maintain flexibility of your spine.

Every vertebrae in your back is supposed to rotate 2 degrees.

Scissor twist, like mermaid pose, is a safe twist you can do anytime, anywhere – all you need is a wall.

Many people find more advanced twists such as twisting triangle quite challenging. That’s because twisting triangle is both a standing pose that develops your strength, a twisting pose that increases your flexibility and a balance pose that challenges your core.

Scissor twist is an ideal pose to practice before you attempt the more challenging work of twisting triangle.

With scissor twist, you use the wall like a lever to open up your spine.

When I’m working one-on-one with clients suffering from scoliosis, I like to use scissor twist followed by wide legged forward fold.

I recommend scissor twist to empower scoliosis sufferers to work through their blocked areas then use wide legged forward fold to rebalance the two sides of the body.

You twist then lengthen your spine to create space between the vertebrae.

The wide legged forward fold is a great counter pose for scissor twist because it will teach your body how to be equally long on both sides.

Scissor twist is also an ideal pose to practice before attempting major backbends such as wheel.

That’s because scissor twist will increase the flexibility of your spine and make it easier to go into a deep backbend.

If your spine is tight, you will find back extensions difficult.

Directions:

  1. Stand up straight with your right shoulder next to a wall.
  2. Bring your right foot in front and bring your left foot behind you with your feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
  3. Your front foot should be straight ahead and your back foot should be turned 45 degrees.
  4. Straighten both legs.
  5. Now bring your right arm parallel to the ground behind you as you bring your left arm in front.
  6. Spread your fingers and press your palms strongly into the wall to accelerate the twist.
  7. Keep your chin over the center of your sternum, relaxing your neck.
  8. Bring your front ribs forward as you rotate your back ribs behind you.
  9. Hold 1 minute, then repeat on the other side.

Benefits:

  1. Relieves back pain.
  2. Increases the flexibility of your spine.
  3. Stretches your chest.
  4. Gently opens your hips.
  5. Improves your posture.

Caution:

  1. Keep your chin over the center of your sternum so you twist from your core, not your neck.
  2. Press your feet strongly into the floor.
  3. Keep your legs straight.
  4. Be sure to breathe deeply and relax!

If you would like a personal postural assessment to understand why your back hurts and what you can do about it, call 678-612-8816 or email catherine@unlimitedenergynow.com.

To join Catherine’s ongoing yoga classes, follow the directions at this link. We meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9 p.m., Thursday mornings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursday evenings 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Private lessons meet by appointment Monday through Friday.

Photo of scissor twist courtesy of Diane Fulmer of Savannah, Georgia.