Runner’s  Twist
Submitted by Mugs McConnell, ERYT500.  Photo of Gail & Amy  at the SOYA Retreat.
Runners TwistThis is a nice gentle twist that can be done in both directions. It can be used as preparation for Trikonasana (Triangle pose) or for those days when you want a gentler practice. We learned it from Dharma Mittra at the SOYA retreat in June.
Come into table pose and step the left foot forward, between the hands. Leave the right knee down on the mat directly below the hips, forming a 90 degree angle at the knee.  Both hands are placed on the floor as in table pose.
Move your left hand to the inside of the left foot, beside the arch. Raise your right hand up towards the ceiling, rotating your torso to the right, and looking up if it is comfortable on your neck.  Create a nice long line of energy through both arms. Breathe evenly and smoothly while holding the pose.
Revolved Runner Twist
Return the right hand to the floor and move the left hand back to the outside of the left foot. Keeping the right hand beside the arch of the left foot, raise the left hand up towards the ceiling. Rotate the torso to the left.  Create a nice long line of energy through both arms. Breathe evenly and smoothly while holding the pose.
Be sure to spend equal time in the pose on both sides to promote balance in the body.

  • Improves digestion and circulation.
  • Increases the synovial fluid of the joints. Spine becomes more flexible and hips move more easily.
  • Opens throat, chest and shoulders, which may help to increase lung capacity.
  • Reduces discomfort from backache, neck pain and sciatica. Helps to relieve muscular problems in back and hips.
  • Tones roots of spinal nerves and the sympathetic nervous system, and brings fresh blood supply to spine.  Beneficial effect on entire nervous system.
  • Massages abdominal muscles.
  • Benefits gallbladder, spleen, liver and bowels. Kidneys and abdominal organs are activated and exercised.
  • Relieves menstrual discomfort.
  • Stimulates lymphatic system.
  • Brings peace of mind.

Cautions and Modifications

  •       For tender or injured knees, place a folded blanket under the back knee to give it extra cushioning.
  • Twists tend to compress the diaphragm.  As you inhale, lengthen the spine and as you exhale, revolve gently into twist.  Pause and lengthen again on the inhalation and rotate farther with the exhalation.
  •         Do not let the cervical spine do all the work – the head and neck should follow the movement, not lead it. For neck pain and discomfort, look down.
  •         Be conscious not to over-twist in the more mobile areas.  Try extending the movement into some of the more resistant areas.
  •        Some twists in combination with forward bends can strain the back.  Watch range of motion for lower back or sacroiliac joint strain.