Supine Twist
(JAT-hara pah-rih-VAR-tan-AHH-sah-nah)


‘Jathara’= abdomen, ‘Parivartana’= to completely revolve, ‘āsana’= posture

Alternate Names

Spinal Twist
Reclined Spinal Twist
Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Belly Twist (Jathara Parivrtti)
Abdominal Twist
Revolved Abdomen Twist
Reclined Twist
Revolving Twist
Reclined Revolved Pose
Stomach Twisting Pose
Two Knee Spinal Twist

Difficulty Level: Beginner
Pose Type: Supine / Stretch / Twist / Restorative

• To the back – Eye Level - Over the shoulder 3 inches above the hand (This depends on neck flexibility and health)
• Upward – Eye level – Toward the ceiling
• To the front – Eye level – Over the shoulder 3 inches above the hand

1. Start in Corpse Pose (Savasana), except with your arms opened out to the sides in the shape of a ‘T’ with your palms face up (Supine position).
2. Your back and shoulder blades should be flat to the mat with your shoulders down away from your ears.
3. Breath in, and then, exhale as you use your lower abdomen to bend your knees, raising your feet off the mat, and bring your upper thighs to your chest.
4. Keeping your legs squeezed together, twist at the hips to the right, letting your legs slowly fall to the right, and lower your legs until the bottom right leg rests on the floor. Let gravity help you with this. Be sure to keep your shoulders down to the mat and position your legs and knees so that they are stacked over each other.
5. Your legs should also be in an ‘L’ shape, with your knees drawn up so that your hips, thighs, and knees are aligned with each other.
6. Breath smoothly and turn your head to the left, away from your legs. Keep your neck and jaw soft, and your shoulders down and to the mat, as you lengthen your spine and relax into the stretch.
7. Hold this posture for several breaths (about 20 seconds) and then slowly release.
8. Repeat on other side.

Common Adjustments
• Neck strained
• Shoulders strained
• Back strained
• Neck not lengthened
• Neck pain
• Knee pain
• Shoulders coming off the mat
• Bottom leg not down to the mat
• Legs and knees not stacked
• Knees forced to the ground
• Arms not out to the sides like a ‘T’

• 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.

Counter Poses
• Bow (Dhanurasana)
• Bridge (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
• Wind Relieving (Pavanamuktasana)
• Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
• Child’s Pose (Balasana)
• Extended Child’s Pose (Utthita Balasana
• Forward Bend, Seated (Paschimottanasana)
• Forward Bend, Seated Wide Angle (Upavistha Konasana)
• Forward Bend, Standing (Uttanasana)
• Forward Bend, Standing Wide Leg (Prasarita Padottanasana)

• Neck• Chest (Pectoralis Major and Minor)
• Shoulders (Deltoids)• Upper (Cervical), Middle (Thoracic), and Lower (Lumbar) Back and Spine
• Abdomen and Obliques• Hips (Iliopsoas)
• Gluteus Maximus, Medius, and Minimus (Glutes)• Quadriceps and Hamstrings
• Biceps and Triceps• Calf muscles and Knees

• 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.

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.

• Mula Bandha

Chakra TwoSacral or Svadhisthana (sweetness) Chakra. This is the chakra for emotion, sexuality, and attraction of opposites. Its goals are fluidity, pleasure, and relaxation. Its location is the abdomen, genitals, lower back, and hips.
Chakra Three:Solar Plexus, Self-Power, or Manipura (lustrous gem) Chakra. This is the combustion, power, and energy chakra. Its goals are vitality, strength of will, and purpose. Its location is the solar plexus.
Chakra Four:Heart, Love, or Anahata (Unstuck) Chakra. This is the love and equilibrium chakra. Its goals are balance, compassion, and acceptance. Its location is the heart.

Additional information on this asana can be found in your textbooks

  • In “Yoga Anatomy – Second Edition” by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthew textbook.
    • CHAPTER 9 – SUPINE POSES, this asana can be found as “Jathara Parivrtti – Belly Twist“. You can also see a variation called “Jathara Parivrtti Variation – With Legs Extended“.

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