Yoga for Posture – 14 – Supine Twist

I know its’ been a while to since I posted a Monday yoga for posture. It was a busy summer full of excitement and adventure, with an surprise plot twist at the end that will totally blow your mind.

Okay, no, it really wasn’t; my life is actually pretty boring. I just got insanely busy with work, the boys were on summer vacation, and something had to give. Sadly it was my blogging. But…I’m back and raring to go.

Last time we did a twist it was Scorpion Twists, to stretch the pectoral muscles and twist the spine. At the conclusion I cautioned you

These are combination spine twists and pectoral stretches. I do it with the primary focus on the stretch, but always with great awareness of my troublesome lumbar spine.

Approach carefully, take your time, and if you have any pain (outside of the discomfort of a muscle not liking to be stretched) STOP.

Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop. Stop.

There are other ways to stretch the pecs, and other ways to twist the lumbar spine. We should cover both in the near future.

Well, the future is now, and we’re going to do a gentler, pure spine twist today. The supine twist allows you greater control over the spinal twist than the Scorpion Twist, and nothing else like the pectoral stretch to occupy your attention.

Supine Twist:

  • Begin on your back in Savasana (relaxed on your back, arms close to your sides, palms up, feet together, toes falling out to the sides)
  • Draw your right knee up until your thigh is vertical, holding your knee with your left hand, right foot on left knee
  • Gently drop your right knee over to the left side of your body, using your left hand to keep your right thigh at 90° to your body
  • Let gravity do the work rotating your spine
  • As you roll your leg over, also use the left hand to control both how fast you drop the leg (keep it slow) and the depth
    • Do NOT move into pain. If your back screams at you STOP
  • Keep both shoulders flat to the floor, and if it’s available to you
    • Reach your right arm straight out to the right
    • Turn your head to look at your right finger tips
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds (5 – 10 breaths)
  • Repeat for the other side

This is a very gentle twist/stretch for the lower and mid back; using your opposing hand on the twisting side knee allows you to control the depth of the twist. In addition, I like to hook my bent leg toes behind my straight leg knee to help maintain the correct shape/alignment.

And, in case I haven’t mentioned it already, if you have any red flag pain, STOP. One yogi liked to joke, “You can mess with the gods, but don’t mess with your knees.” Well, messing with your spine is a lot worse.