Supine Spinal Twist

supta matsyendrasana

Pronunciation: (soop-TAH MOTS-yen-DRAHS-anah)

Level: Basic


1. Lying on your back, bring your arms out to the sides with the palms facing down in a T position. Bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left knee.

2. Exhale drop the right knee over to the left side of your body, twisting the spine and low back. Look at the right finger tips.

3. Keep the shoulders flat to the floor, close the eyes, and relax into the posture. Let gravity pull the knee down, so you do not have to use any effort in this posture.

4. Breathe and hold for 6-10 breaths.

5. To release: inhale and roll the hips back to the floor, and exhale the leg back down to the floor.

6. Repeat on other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Knee down twist stretches the back muscles, realigns and lengthens the spine, and hydrates the spinal disks.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips or back.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: A) Place a folded blanket under the bent knee to support it.

Variations: Rest the left hand on the right knee adding more weight for gravity to pull the knee down.


Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Half Wind Relieving pose, Wind Relieving pose, Joyful Baby, Bridge.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Supine Hand to Toe, Extended Supine Hand to Toe, Supine Pigeon, Plow, Shoulderstand.

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