VINYASA BLISS - Part-11:
31 DAYS of Physical Fitness, Mental Health, & Emotional Wellness
DAY 29 of #31dayyogachallenge — JANUARY 29th, 2021
✨ Seated Twist Pose/Half-Fish Pose ✨ (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
Maybe you are starting a fitness routine for the first time.
Or perhaps you are trying to get into better physical shape after a long period of not exercising regularly. If either of these circumstances is the case, chances are you will struggle with personal judgments concerning your fitness level.
There are several reasons why people do not engage in physical fitness or maintain a fitness practice once they start. One of the reasons is injury.
Fitness and recreational sports are ways to relieve stress and revel in the thrill of competition. Injuries afflict people who engage in physical activity without proper preparation. Many of us lead sedentary lifestyles. That can be caused by inactivity at home or a desk-bound work environment.
Injuries that are common to sedentary people engaging in fitness activities are:
ACL and MCL Injuries - These injuries to the knee happen when an athlete over-extends or over-rotates the knee joint. A "pop" is heard or felt, followed by knee pain, and swelling.
Foot & Ankle Injuries - Injuries to the foot and ankle are common in recreational sports. Acute injuries usually happen in the form of sprains.
Achilles Tendon Injuries - The Achilles tendon is located just above the back of the heel. The repetitive stress of jumping and landing can injure this tendon.
Heat Injuries - Heat injuries occur during intense physical activities or outdoor training sessions in the height of summer. Sweating depletes the body of salt and water. A symptom of note is severe muscle cramping. Heat injuries can lead to heatstroke or heat exhaustion, which can lead to death.
Overuse Injuries - These injuries affect the lower back and the major joints; the wrists, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. Overuse injuries are often caused by overtraining. It happens when a person trains beyond the ability of the body to recover.
Low Back Pain and Muscle Strain - Low-back pain can include muscle strain, ligament sprain, fracture, and disc disorders. Frequently, low-back pain will become worse with activity.
American yoga enthusiast Kerry Sara engaged in fitness training and sports for most of his life. He injured his back while in a Bikram class at the beginning of his foray into yoga. He was not able to practice for a time. "Pushing through the pain" was not good for him.
“I was very frustrated with the pain in my lower back,” said Mr. Sara. “One night before I went to sleep, I set up a yoga bolster on my bed and laid over the length of the prop in a twist. My torso was on top of the bolster. My legs and pelvis were off the bolster, tucked over to one side with my chest facing the floor,” he explained.
Kerry Sara continued, “I had no idea what I was doing. It was just a desperate effort to find enough relief in my body so that I could sleep during the night. When I woke up the next morning, my back felt much better. I know now sleeping that way allowed the muscles of my back the time and space they needed to relax.”
“Instead of my mind trying to force my body to do active stretches and yoga poses, my body had 8 hours to rest and recuperate in a passive stretch,” Sara said.
“The gravitational force elongated the muscles along my spine and pelvis. The deep breathing that happens during sleep brought oxygenated blood to my back and spine,” said Mr. Sara.
While the pain did not completely subside, I felt rejuvenated for the first time in a long time. I slept like that for the next two weeks. The pain in my back eventually faded away for good,” Sara concluded.
Twisting poses were Mr. Sara's introduction to the concept of "working smart" instead of working hard. His experience shows the power of restorative yoga and the wisdom of incorporating twisting yoga poses into his daily fitness routine. The poses are also an example of the comprehensive and complementary nature of the fitness aspect of yoga.
In addition to counteracting the pull of gravity - twists reduce stiffness in the back and the hips.
Yoga twists can increase blood circulation and improve digestive health. The revolving motion of the torso during twists brings our bodies and minds into balance.
Seated Twist Pose/Half-Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
*Begin seated in Staff Pose (Dandasana).
*Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the ground outside of your left thigh.
*Keep your left leg long or bend it and place your left heel under your right glute.
*Turn your torso to the right and take your right hand to the ground behind your sacrum.
*Wrap your left arm around your right leg and place your right hand on the ground behind your sacrum.
*Inhale deeply to lengthen your spine. Take your left arm outside of your right thigh.
*Press your arm into your thigh and twist on your exhale.
*Keep this breathing pattern for at least three deep breaths.
*Repeat on the other side.