supine twist – supta matsyendrasana

(Last Updated On: July 24, 2021)

supine twist – set up

  • Lay down on your back
  • Take your arms into a ‘T’ or into a cactus/goal post shape
  • Bend your knees so that they are stacked directly over your hips and your shins are parallel to the floor
  • Drop both knees to the right as your neck and gaze turn to the left
  • Soften eyes, mouth, shoulders as you settle into the earth in your supine twist

supine twist – working within the pose

upper body

  • Melt both shoulders into the earth – this might mean you don’t twist as far
  • Gaze should be in the opposite direction of the knees to complete the twist in the neck as well as integrate the left and right sides of the body/brain

mid & lower body

  • Allow the skin on the back of your body to spread and melt onto the earth beneath you
  • To concentrate the twist in the mid-back, the knees should be in line with the hips. If you want to move the twist to your upper back, raise the knees higher than the hips. Moving the knees lower than the hips will concentrate the twist in your low-back.

supine twist – benefits

  • Stimulates digestion
  • Restores balance
  • Stretches back side of the body
  • Hydrates vertebrae
  • Lengthens & realigns spine
  • Neutralizes backbends
  • Increases energy
  • Ease back/neck tension
  • Soothes/calms nervous system

supine twist – modifications

  • If there is a gap between the knees or underneath the bottom knee, use a block, blanket, or towel in the space for added support
  • For more sensation, place right hand on top of left thigh (if knees are to the right)
  • Extend top or both legs to the right (more advanced)

supine twist – contraindications

  • Back pain
  • Fractured ribs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Knee or hip injury

Looking to try some other poses? How about navasana (boat pose) or hanumanasana (splits)? Or browse all of them!

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