Supine Spinal Twist - Supta Matsyendrasana

How to Do a Supine Spinal Twist - Supta Matsyendrasana
Supine Spinal Twist - Supta Matsyendrasana. Ann Pizer

Type of Pose: Supine, Twist

Benefits: Stretches the glutes. Stretches and relaxes the spine. Can help relieve back pain, though should be approached with caution by those with degenerative disc disease. Can aid digestion

The best time to do twists like this is during the cool down portion of your yoga session. At the end of your practice, you can take advantage of your warmed muscles to move into deep twists that massage the internal organs and help counteract the effects of too much time spent sitting in chairs.



1. Lie down on your back.

2. Bend your knees and put the soles of your feet on the floor with your knees pointing toward the ceiling.

3. Press into your feet to lift your hips slightly off the floor and shift them about an inch to your right.

4. Draw your right knee into your chest and extend your left leg flat on the floor. Keep your left foot flexed throughout the pose.

5. Cross your right knee over to the floor on the left side of your body. Your right hip is now stacked on tip of your left hip. You can hook your right foot behind your left knee if you like.

6. Open your right arm to the right side in line with your shoulder. Rest your left hand on your right knee or extend it to make a T shape with the arms. Turn your palms toward the ceiling.

7. Turn your head to the right, bringing your gaze over your shoulder to your right fingertips. You can skip this step if it doesn't feel good on your neck.

8. On your exhalations, see if you can release your left knee and your right shoulder toward the floor.

9. Hold 5 to 10 breaths before drawing your right knee back into your chest. Release both legs to the floor to neutralize your spine for several breaths before doing the other side.

Beginners' Tips:


If your right knee is a long way from the floor, you may want to place a block under that knee for support.

2. If having one leg straight and the other bent feels too intense, you can bend both knees and stack your legs instead. 

Advanced Tips:

1. Before twisting, take your legs straight up to 90 degrees. Wrap your right leg around your left, coming into eagle legs. Then twist, bringing the right knee over to the left side of the body while keeping the legs intertwined.

Continue Reading