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While there are many standing twist asanas or postures in yoga, the basic standing twist asana is a fairly easy and stress-free posture to practice while warming up. It helps promote spinal mobility and tones the muscles of the abdomen and waist.

In order to begin the standing twist asana, you should start by positioning yourself in the standing upright pose or samasthiti. This asana is also referred to as the mountain pose or tadasana. It helps promote good posture, and it is recommended that you incorporate this asana into all aspects of your daily life, including when you walk, sit, work, and relax. Samasthiti is also important, because it is the beginning point for most standing postures in yoga, so you should learn it early on in your training.

1. To assume the samasthiti asana, stand upright with your feet together and your arms at your sides.
2. Your shoulders should be relaxed, and your entire body, including your head, neck, spine, and legs, should be standing upright in a vertical line. You should not be slouching in this posture, nor should you be standing too rigidly. Your head should be relaxed with your chin held level, but not stiffly.
3. Now, to move into the standing twist asana, extend your arms in front of your chest so that your palms are facing downward and your thumbs are touching.
4. While keeping your eyes on the backs of your hands, carefully swing your body as far as possible to the left without shifting the positioning of your feet.
5. Stay in this position for about five seconds before swinging your body toward the middle.
6. Repeat the posture by swinging your body as far to the right as possible without shifting the position of your feet.

Although breathing is very important in yoga, many practitioners will caution against focusing one's attention too much on the breath. While it is definitely wise to make sure that you continue to breathe deeply throughout your yoga posturing, you should not worry too much about getting the exact breathing techniques mastered until you have learned how to truly perform the yoga asanas and have practiced yoga for at least one year. Even so, if you are interested in the breathing techniques for the standing twist asana, make sure to breathe out as you initially twist to the left, and breathe in as you twist back toward the center. Repeat this sequence while twisting to the right.



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