Supta matsyendrasana: Benefits and how to do Supine spinal twist

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Written By Robby Macaay

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Supta Matsyendrasana or supine spinal twist yoga pose is the best asana to keep stress at bay. Here are the benefits of this asana and how to do it properly.

Supta Matsyendrasana or supine spinal twist is also called reclining twist and reclining lord of the fish pose. It is the perfect yoga pose to relax your muscles after a heavy yoga session. It is also considered one of the best yoga poses that helps your body cool down. Moreover, it helps to increase spinal flexibility. It comes with a lot of health benefits and here’s how you can do the supine spinal twist properly. Also, it is important to follow the correct steps to do the yoga asana to avoid any injury.

What are the benefits of supine spinal twist?

Here are some of the notable benefits of the supine spinal twist yoga pose as explained by yoga expert, Dr Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra.

1. Relieves back pain

The supine spinal twist yoga asana is an excellent way to relieve back pain. It helps to relax and extend the neck, shoulders, and back muscles. It also expands the abdominal muscles which helps manage ongoing back pain.

Supine spinal twist helps relieve back pain. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Improves digestion

Suffering from digestive problems? Try incorporating supta matsyendrasana into your fitness routine. This yoga pose helps to ease digestive problems such as constipation by stimulating the digestive tract. Doing this yoga will gently massage your interior organs and help improve digestive health.

Also Read: Yoga poses for digestion: 5 asanas for stronger gut health

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3. Keeps stress at bay

Supine spinal twist is an excellent pose for relaxing and lowering stress after a hectic and tiring day. Doing this pose helps relax your mind and makes you feel happy and more energetic. Plus, it also helps you sleep better.

4. Increases flexibility

If you find it challenging to twist and turn your back, shoulder, and hips, try incorporating the supine spinal twist pose into your daily fitness regimen. This pose helps to improve flexibility in your back, shoulder, and hips. Gradually, you will be able to do all yoga asanas with great flexibility and ease.

5. Promotes blood circulation

Doing supine spinal twists helps to improve blood flow throughout the body. This yoga pose helps improve blood circulation and promote a calm mind-body connection by gently stretching muscles and releasing tension in the body.

How to do a supine spinal twist or supta matsyendrasana?

Here is a complete guide to doing a supine spinal twist as explained by the expert:

  • Step 1: Lie on your back in this asana with your body flat and straight. After exhaling, rest your lower back on the ground.
  • Step 2: Make sure your abdominal muscles are contracted. Now, take a deep breath, lift your feet off the ground, and bend your knees.
  • Step 3: Exhale and extend your arms out in a straight line with your shoulders.
  • Step 4: Place your palms facing downward for added support. Use your core muscles to keep your spine stable. Bring your knees and feet together while you work on this.
  • Step 5: Inhale and lift your feet slightly higher than your knees.
  • Step 6: Exhale and lower your legs to the left side of the floor, keeping your knees and feet stacked. Additionally, you need to ensure that your heels are resting a foot away from your buttocks and that your knees are at hip height.
  • Step 7: Take a calm, deep breath and tilt your head slightly to the right. So that you can keep your upper spine twisted, and root down your right shoulder. It will help to root the shoulders if you maintain your arms at shoulder level. For a duration of 30 to 60 seconds, maintain the position.
  • Step 8: Press your hands into the floor and tense your abdominal muscles to come out of the stance. Breathe in, raise your legs over your chest, and raise your chest. Keep your knees together.
  • Step 9: Release the breath. Elevate your head and chest towards your thighs while drawing your thighs towards your chest. While your head is raised, watch out that you don’t raise your shoulders.
  • Step 10: As you bring your head and shoulders down to the floor, tense your abdominal muscles. Next, extend your arms once more and carry out the twist on the opposite side.
Supine spinal twist
Do supine spinal twist properly to get rid of your back problems. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Who should avoid performing supine spinal twist?

  • Do not perform this asana if you have serious lower back problems.
  • Practise this asana only with the supervision of a specialist if you are pregnant.
  • Alternatively, you may find it easier to perform this pose with a pillow in between your knees.
  • If you have undergone surgery on an internal organ, stay away from this pose.

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