by Dot Favis-Velasco
I like twists. Why? Perhaps in a way twists like me. Maybe because “I am a long-legged.” I have long arms and a long torso, and I guess these come in handy where twists are concerned.
It wasn’t “love at first try”—it took a while, but in time, Marichyasana 3 became a firm favorite of mine.
First and foremost, it’s a seated twist—no need to struggle with my balance! Yay! I start off with just trying to twist and then gradually twist some more, and aided with the breath, not struggle so much until I can finally place my hand on the wall. My upper torso is behaving like a pretzel but I am still comfortable as I time my movements to each inhalation and exhalation. A pause or two, and then on to binding. Even as I bind, I know that achieving proper alignment calls for a lot of refinements, some more nuanced than others.
I actually think I like twists because there are many things to work on—adjustments big and small, approaches that are familiar and others new. We are instructed to roll our shoulders back, relax our throats, keep our weight on our sitbones, firmly press the back of the armpit against the knee to gain more leverage for a deeper twist, and so forth. Twist just as a corkscrew does—once, twice, thrice, and then twist some more.
At one of the very first IYCM Baguio yoga retreats that I attended, I almost burst into tears after a session of twists. I was surprised at this, but later learned that that’s what can happen with twists. Twists can help us wring out a lot of our tensions and angst, and the sudden predisposition to tears is itself a physical manifestation of what we release.
I guess that’s why I like twists and enjoy doing Marichyasana 3 the most. Its gift of helping me let go of anxieties keeps me chill. It could also be that I love doing Marichyasana 3 because I know I can do it, and I can do it well. And knowing that is a sure picker-upper for me!