Some of our favorite yoga poses are described in straight lines and boxy angles–Triangle, Plank, and Extended Side Angle poses for example. But the human body is more attuned to spirals and curves. Think about the double helix of our DNA, the path of our limbs as they emerge in vitro, and the way we swing our arms as we walk and run. Even our sports actions are described in curved movements, thanks to the twisting action of the torso: football spirals, tennis ball top-spins, and glove hooks.
Moving in fluid, unpredictable ways helps us stay agile—physically and mentally.
“Moving weirdly helps keep the brain healthy,” says Beret Kirkeby, a massage therapist, yoga therapist, and Prema Yoga Institute teacher. “It’s also oxygenating to our tissue, moves synovial fluid, and helps us maintain range of motion.” If we limit ourselves to habitual and repetitive movements, we may start thinking that anything outside the ordinary is scary or possibly painful, explains Kirkeby. “Moving weirdly is a fundamental part of keeping a flexible mind and body,” she adds.
This sequence by Dana Slamp, Prema Yoga Institute founder, helps you step out of rigid alignment and flow into more creative shapes. The movements play with open twists for better cross-body movement and with retracting your shoulder blades for “slide and glide” across your upper back. Both your inner thighs and outer glutes get some love, since they can become tight when the body is confined to the left and right movements of the sagittal plane. Just apply playfulness as you practice, and stay weird!