Revolved Abdomen Twist is known by many names. One of the most common names is Supine Twist, or in Sanskrit Jathara Parivartanāsana (JAT-hara pah-rih-VAR-tan-AHH-sah-nah). You may also hear Elevated Twist or Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana). Other names you may hear are:
- Spinal Twist
- Reclined Spinal Twist
- Belly Twist (Jathara Parivrtti)
- Abdominal Twist
- Reclined Twist
- Revolving Twist
- Reclined Revolved Pose
- Stomach Twisting Pose
- Two Knee Spinal Twist
This asana is great for beginners, however, their are some contraindications that you should be aware of. See a list of them below.
1. Students with pain in the neck, shoulder, back, hips, or knees, spondylitis, slipped disc, diarrhea, headache, have high/ow blood pressure, or have a hip replacement, should use caution in this pose. Seek guidance and utilize modifications and props.
2. Students with recent injury or surgery to the back or knees, have diarrhea, in their menstrual cycle, or are pregnant should avoid this pose or consult a physician.
Because of the nature of this asana, there are many modifications that can be done. However, before we review some modifications, lets review the traditional version of this asana in the picture and video below. They depict and demonstrate proper alignment.
Now for modifications. As we have discussed, Restorative Yoga utilizes many props during practice to ensure a safe, balancing, and refreshing practice. Below you will see a video that depicts this asana using props slightly different than depicted in your textbook “RESTORATIVE YOGA FOR LIFE”. This is a great example of how different props can be used, for any asana, to achieve the same end goal. You will also see addition modifications listed after the video that further explains what props can be used and when is the best time to utilize a particular modification.
• Students who experience discomfort or uneasiness around the knees and hips, or are pregnant, can place a folded blanket, pillow, or bolster either between their knees and/or under their knees for support.
• For students who have difficulty getting their knee to the floor, they can either place a hand on their knee or a weighted sand bag. Be cautious not to force the knees to the floor. Alternatively, they can place a block, pillow, or bolster under the knees and ankles for support.
• Students who experience hip discomfort can place a bolster, blanket, or block under the hips for elevation and support as well as place a block or blanket under the ankles if needed. They can also place a pillow, block, or bolster between the knees, or they can raise one knee and twist to the side.
• Students who have difficulty getting the shoulder of the arm opposite to the twist to the floor, should not extend that arm fully out to the side. Instead, they should bend their elbow, resting it on the floor, while their hand is on their rib cage. This reduces the stress to the shoulder. Alternatively, they can place a sand bag on the shoulder to try and help bring the shoulder to the mat. Do not force the shoulder.
• Students who have difficulty keeping their knees drawn up can either practice with the soles of their feet against a wall, practice with a strap around the upper back and shins to help hold the legs in place, or practice while using one hand to hold behind their knee to keep their legs in line with the hips.
• Students who have neck injuries, have difficulty turning their neck to gaze to the side, or have back issues, can keep the neck in alignment with the spine and gaze up toward the sky. Alternatively, they can gaze slightly to the side away from the knees or can gaze in the same direction as the knees.
• Students who have had hip replacements, or experience severe hip pain, should not lower their knees all the way to the floor. Instead, place a bolster or block between their legs and slightly fold to the side. Or practice next to a wall to rest the legs on or place a block(s) or blanket under the knees for support.
• Students who want to deepen the stretch can move their knees upward toward the armpit while twisting and keeping both shoulders down to the mat or they can fully extend their legs out to the side.
No lets discuss some of the many benefits of practicing this asana.
• Stretches and strengthens the neck, shoulders, chest, spine, back, abdomen, obliques. hips, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, knees, and calf muscles.
• Improves the flexibility of the spine as well as lengthens and aligns the spine, helping to improve posture. Opens the hips.
• Helps relieve tension in the neck and shoulders as well as in the lower back, spine, and hips. Therapeutic for students with back and neck pain issues or sciatica.
• Stimulates the digestive system and improves circulation by massaging internal organs. This helps to improve digestion, helps relieve flatulence, and stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands. This also keeps internal organs like the liver, kidneys, spleen, and prostate healthy.
• Stimulates the nervous system, calming the mind and relaxing the body, which reduces stress, anxiety, mild depression, fatigue, and insomnia.
• Opens the chest, which increases lung capacity and stimulates the respiratory system. This is therapeutic for students with asthma.
• Great post-natal pose to relieve lower back tension.
Lastly, see below quick reference to how the chakras and doshic balance are affected in this asana.
Vata This dosha is increased in this asana.
Pitta This dosha is increased in this asana.
Kapha This dosha is decreased in this asana.