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Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist): Benefits and How to Perform

Supta Matsyendrasana, the Supine Spinal Twist, and uncover the secrets it holds for our physical and spiritual well-being. Get ready to embark on a journey of relaxation and rejuvenation as we dive into the depths of this soothing and revitalizing yoga pose.

Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

Supta Matsyendrasana, in its essence, represents the graceful twist of a mystical fish, evoking a sense of fluidity, adaptability, and harmony within the body and mind.

For those curious about the correct pronunciation, it is pronounced as soo-tah maht-syen-DRAHS-uh-nuh.

Supta Matsyendrasana primarily engages the spine, the hips, and the entire back, creating a gentle yet profound twist that nurtures flexibility and releases tension in these vital areas. It also stimulates the muscles along the sides of the body, fostering a sense of balance and ease.

How to perform Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

Now, let's unravel the steps to master the art of Supta Matsyendrasana:

  1. Begin by lying on your back with your arms extended to the sides.

  2. Gently draw one knee towards your chest and guide it across your body, allowing it to rest on the opposite side.

  3. Turn your head in the opposite direction of your knee for a deeper twist.

  4. Keep both shoulders grounded as you breathe deeply, feeling the gentle stretch along your spine.

  5. Hold the pose for several breaths, allowing your body to relax and release any accumulated tension.

  6. Repeat the same steps on the other side, embracing the balance and harmony it brings to your practice.

Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

When to Do It

Supta Matsyendrasana is best practiced during the morning to invigorate your body and mind for the day ahead or in the evening to unwind and release any stress or fatigue accumulated throughout the day.

Preparatory Poses

Prepare your body for the Supine Spinal Twist with gentle warm-up poses such as Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) and Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose), fostering a sense of openness and relaxation in the hips and spine.

Follow-Up Poses

After experiencing the soothing benefits of Supta Matsyendrasana, transition into calming postures such as Balasana (Child's Pose) and Savasana (Corpse Pose) to restore balance and tranquility in the body and mind.


Supta Matsyendrasana is closely associated with the Manipura Chakra, the solar plexus chakra, representing personal power, self-confidence, and inner strength. The pose stimulates this chakra, fostering a sense of empowerment and harmony within oneself.

Manipura Chakra (solar plexus)

Mantra for This Pose

Chant the mantra "Ram" to activate the energy of the Manipura Chakra, allowing it to radiate warmth and courage throughout your entire being.

Alignment Cues

Pay attention to these alignment cues to ensure a safe and effective practice:

  1. Keep both shoulders firmly grounded on the mat.

  2. Engage your core muscles to protect your lower back.

  3. Relax your neck and shoulders, allowing the twist to flow naturally through your spine.

Duration of Hold

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute on each side, gradually increasing the duration as you deepen your practice and your body becomes more accustomed to the twist.


Gently gaze towards the hand opposite to the knee that is twisting, fostering a sense of inner focus and stability.

Physical & Spiritual Awareness

As you move into the Supine Spinal Twist, notice the gentle release in your spine and hips, allowing any stored tension to dissipate. Connect with the energy of the Manipura Chakra, embracing your inner strength and resilience.

Beginners' Tips

For beginners, use a blanket or a cushion beneath your knees or between your thighs for added support and comfort. Also, focus on the breath and allow it to guide your movement throughout the pose.

Who Should Not Do It

Individuals with recent back or hip injuries should approach this pose with caution or avoid it altogether. Pregnant women should also refrain from practicing Supta Matsyendrasana.

Who Should Do It

Those looking to improve spine flexibility, release lower back tension, and foster a sense of emotional and physical balance will benefit from incorporating Supta Matsyendrasana into their practice.

Benefits of Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

  1. Improves spinal flexibility and mobility.

  2. Relieves tension in the lower back and hips.

  3. Stimulates the digestive system, aiding in digestion and detoxification.

  4. Calms the nervous system, promoting relaxation and stress relief.

Variations of Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

Explore variations such as using props like a bolster or a block to deepen the twist and enhance the stretch in the spine and hips.

Modifications for Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist)

For individuals with limited flexibility or mobility, use a blanket or a cushion to support your knees or hips, enabling you to experience the benefits of the pose with greater ease and comfort.

Common Mistakes

Avoid forcing the twist beyond your body's natural capacity, or lifting the shoulders off the mat. Instead, focus on a gentle, gradual rotation and a smooth flow of breath throughout the pose.

Safety and Precautions

Practice Supta Matsyendrasana mindfully, and avoid any sudden or jerky movements. Listen to your body's signals and consult a yoga instructor or healthcare professional if you experience any discomfort or pain.

Additional Preparation Tips

  • Direction to Face: Face towards the space that feels most calming and nurturing to you, encouraging a sense of emotional stability and tranquility during the practice.

  • What to Wear: Choose comfortable, form-fitting attire that allows you to move freely and ensures your clothing doesn't restrict your movements.

  • Suitable Place and Essential Oil or Fragrance: Practice in a quiet and serene space, and consider using soothing essential oils such as lavender or chamomile to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere.

  • Music for This Pose: Play gentle and serene instrumental music or soft melodies that promote a sense of peace and inner harmony, enhancing your experience of the soothing Supine Spinal Twist.

Supta Matsyendrasana is not just a physical pose; it's an invitation to unwind, let go, and embrace the gentle rhythm of life. As you twist, breathe, and release, remember that every turn and curve in the path is an opportunity for growth and transformation. So, trust in the process, surrender to the flow, and allow the Supine Spinal Twist to guide you toward a deeper connection with yourself and the world around you.

Happy yoga-ing, everyone!


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About the Author

Namaste! I'm Pooja Chauhan

RYT 200Hrs | Meditation Coach 

Diving deep into the realm of yoga to revive its original teachings to create a significant impact in preserving and sharing them with the world.

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