Strike a Yoga Pose: Seated Spinal Twist

Twists are not only great at improving digestion, but they also help increase flexibility in your spine. This Seated Spinal Twist will also stretch your chest and shoulders. It's similar to the 1-Legged Seated Spinal Twist, but a little more advanced.


Sanskrit Name: Ardha Matsyendrasana
English Translation: Half Lord of the Fishes
Also Called: Seated Spinal Twist

To learn how to do this relaxing pose read more.

  • Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee and place your right heel as close to your right sit-bone as you can. Then bend your left knee and cross your left foot over your right knee. Plant it on the floor so your left ankle is next to your right knee.
  • Reach your left arm behind you and place your palm on the floor. Then bend your right elbow and cross it over the outer side of your left knee. Keep your elbow bent, or if you can, hold onto your left toes.
  • Keep your left hand on the floor for stability, or bring your left arm around your lower back. Reach for your shirt, or if you can, hook your fingers on the top of your right thigh. Gaze behind you and over your left shoulder. Continue pressing your right arm into your left knee, and use each inhale to lengthen the spine and each exhale to rotate further to the left.
  • Stay here for five or more breaths. Then release the twist, straighten your legs out in front of you, and do this pose with your right knee pointing up.

I love doing this pose after a long bike ride. Twisting feels wonderful for my spine after hunching over handlebars for hours.

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