Yoga Supine Spinal Twist (Supta
Matsyendrasana)

Supine Spinal Twist — Supta Matsyendrasana (Soop-tah-MOTS-yen-drAA-SUN-aa) — is a restorative spinal twist, that lengthens and strengthens the spine while detoxifying the internal organs. Supta Matsyendrasana is a gentle posture that stretches the spine, shoulder, back, thighs, and neck and stimulates internal detoxifying processes, all while the body rests. Regular practice of Supta Natarajasana can relieve lower back pain and tight shoulders.The pose gets its name from the Sanskrit words, Supta, meaning supine or reclined, Matsya, meaning fish, indra, meaning ruler, and asana, meaning pose.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Lie on your back with your arms stretched horizontally out to the sides in line with the shoulders.
  2. Extend your left leg out in front of you and bend your right knee, hugging it into your chest.
  3. Inhale, and on an exhale slowly cross your right knee over your midline and onto the floor on the left side of your body. Turn your head to the right and look at your right palm.
  4. Make sure that both of your shoulder blades are touching the ground, even if that means your knee does not fully touch the floor. While twisting, there is a tendency for one shoulder blade to lift off of the ground.
  5. Feel the stretch in your thighs, groin, arms, neck, stomach and back as you hold the pose. With each exhalation, relax deeper into the pose.
  6. Hold for several minutes.
  7. Slowly turn your head back to the center and straighten your torso and legs.
  8. Repeat the pose on your left side. 

Benefits

  • Stretches the spine and quadriceps
  • Massages the back and hips
  • Lengthens, strengthens, and realigns the spine
  • Encourages fresh blood flow to the internal organs
  • Improves digestion
  • Provides deep relaxation

Precautions

  • Spinal, knee or hip injury

Modifications and Variations

  • Variations: Create Eagle Pose legs by wrapping one leg over the other and twisting in the opposite direction.

Follow-up and Preparatory Poses

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at programs@us.artofliving.org to find a a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

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