Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Seated spinal twist yoga poses are advised to be practiced at the end of daily yoga practice. When they are done after practicing all the other asanas, they attempt to stretch and relax the spine thereby calming, relaxing and strengthening the upper half of the body. And the lower half of the body is stretched with the way the legs are placed in spinal twist asanas.

Some of these Seated spinal twist yoga poses can also be used as meditative positions for advanced practitioners. They help in relieving pain and stiffness between the vertebrae and relax the spinal area. Seated spinal twist yoga poses also help in increasing the elasticity of the spine, tones the spinal nerves and improve the blood circulation across the spinal area and improves the functioning of spinal cord.

9 Different Seated Spinal Twist Yoga Poses & their Benefits

Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

Steps to Practice Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • To practice Ardha Matsyendrasana, sit in Dandasana on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • To practice this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose, lift your right leg and place it on the outside of left leg at the height of knee/ besides the left knee.
  • Then, bend the left knee and place the heel of left leg to touch the right hip on the side.
  • If you find it difficult to stay in this position, keep the left leg straight instead of folding it.
  • While inhaling, place your right arm behind your back and the take the left up and straight in such a way that it faces the ceiling. Then, bring your left arm and tuck it in you right knee and try to touch the left knee or the right foot with the palm of the lower arm.
  • Now sitting in this position, bend your spine towards right in such a way that you feel stretch in the side and the spine.
  • Make sure the sitting bones are touching the floor, the bones should not be raised but rested on the floor.
  • While exhaling, twist more towards the right starting from the lower torso to chest and then neck and head.
  • Your head will turn and come to the right side after the maximum stretch.
  • The shoulders should not be dropped while practicing.
  • While exhaling, straighten the spine and come to normal position.
  • This completes one round of Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Lord of the Fishes Pose. Practice the same 5-6 times on both the sides.
  • To release the asana, straighten your head and neck to look straight and them straighten your spine then, bring your hands to rest alongside your body.
  • Now straighten the left leg and then straighten the right leg to come to its original position.
  • Come back and relax in Dandasana after practicing Ardha Matysendrasana.

Bharadvaja’s Twist I

Steps to Practice Bharadvaja Twist I

  • To practice Bharadvaja twist I, sit in seated staff pose or Dandasana.
  • Both the legs should be extended on the ground and keep your spine straight.
  • Bend your left leg and bring the foot close to your pelvis like in Sukhasana or the easy pose.
  • Bend the right leg and take the heel to touch the right hip like in Veerasana or the Hero Pose.
  • Lengthen your spine while staying in this pose and take a few deep breaths.
  • Twist your torso to the left side while exhaling.
  • And bring your Right hand and fix your forearm in front of your bent right knee/leg.
  • Inhale deeply at this point.
  • Take your left hand behind your back and rest the palm on the ground or the yoga mat.
  • Keep breathing deeply.
  • Practice this for as long as you are comfortable.
  • This completes one round of Bharadvaja’s twist I.
  • Practice this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose from both sides for 3 times.

Bharadvaja’s Twist II

Steps to Practice Bharadvaja Twist II

  • To practice Bharadvaja twist II, sit in seated staff pose or Dandasana.
  • Both the legs should be extended on the ground and keep your spine straight.
  • Bend your left leg and take the heel to touch the right hip like in Veerasana or the Hero Pose and bend the right leg and now bring the hell to rest on the front of the left thigh like in Padmasana.
  • Lengthen your spine while staying in this pose and take a few deep breaths.
  • Twist your torso to the right side while exhaling.
  • And bring your Right hand and try to hold the toe with your right hand from behind the back.
  • Inhale deeply at this point.
  • Take your left hand and bring it to rest against the outer side of your right knee.
  • Keep breathing deeply.
  • Practice this for as long as you are comfortable.
  • This completes one round of Bharadvaja’s twist II.
  • Practice this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose from both sides for 3 times.

Marichyasana or Pose Dedicated to Sage Marichi

Steps to Practice Marichyasana or Pose Dedicated to Sage Marichi

  • To practice Marichyasana, you must get into Dandasana or the staff pose on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • With a deep inhale, raise your hands above your head and give your arms a stretch.
  • Bend your right knee and bring the heel as close to the inside of your hips as possible.
  • At the same time, your right foot is flat on the ground and your left leg is straight on the ground.
  • Keep the left leg extended and push the heel of the left foot into the ground.
  • Now, bring your right knee towards your upper body as closer as possible.
  • Take your left arm behind your back and intertwine both of your hands or hold the right wrist with the heft hand.
  • With a big and deep exhale, start moving your arms forward towards the foot.
  • As you move forward, take your hand on your legs as far as possible towards the big toe.
  • The movements should be made slowly, and any jerk should be avoided while practicing Marichyasana I.
  • Try to relax in this position for a few seconds to give a stretch to your leg, back and arm muscles.
  • Allow the leg, arm and back muscles to gently stretch.
  • Keep your leg straight while moving the upper body forward.
  • Always keep your spine erect while bending forward when practicing this asana.
  • Try and touch your knees with your forehead.
  • Practice the asana in a similar way by folding the left leg and keeping the right leg straight on the ground.
  • Try and do 5-8 rounds of this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose every day.

Pasasana or The Noose Pose

Steps to Practice Pasasana or The Noose Pose

  • First stand in the Tadasana to practice Pasasana or The Noose Pose.
  • Gently bend your knees such that you are squatting on the floor in such a way that your buttocks come close to your heels as your torso rests against your thighs.
  • If you find it hard to squat with your feet flat on the ground, use a folded blanket under your heels to make the squatting easier.
  • Starting at the belly, twist to your right, and extend your left arm to bring its upper part to the outside of the right knee.
  • Then, turn your palm down as you bend your elbow to wrap the forearms around the right shin.
  • Stretch out your right hand and sweep it to the back.
  • Hold your left wrist with your right hand.
  • You could also just interlock your fingers with each other if your hands can’t go all the way.
  • Turn your head to the right and pull your shoulder blades backward such that they are towards each other.
  • While breathing lift and lengthen your sternum through the top of your head.
  • Twist your body further as you exhale, going forward with your left ribs.
  • Hold the pose for a few seconds and release. Repeat this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose by twisting to your left.

Parsva Bakasana or Revolved Abdomen Pose

Steps to Practice Parsva Bakasana or Revolved Abdomen Pose:

  • Get into Tadasana first to practice Parsva Bakasana.
  • Come into a squat or squatting position to start with.
  • While in a squatting position on a yoga mat, maintain equal distance between both the knees and keep the feet flat on the mat.
  • Now, from this position, place the palms in between the knees and flat on the ground while maintaining the knees and elbows at the same level.
  • From the above-mentioned position, bend your torso forward while lifting both the legs up so that the whole-body balances solely on the palms.
  • While in this posture, maintain a straight gaze so that the body balances properly.
  • From this position, bring your right knee towards the left knee and rest the right leg over the left leg in such a way that both legs are stacked over each other.
  • This is the final Parsva Bakasana position. Stay in this seated spinal twist yoga poses final position for a few breaths or for as long as you feel comfortable.
  • Finally, to return to the original position, slowly bring the feet down on the ground and go back into a Tadasana.
  • Repeat the exercise for three to four rounds.
  • Beginners should try to stay in this position for 1-2 minutes or until your legs and feet start feeling discomfort.
  • Advanced practitioners should stay in this pose for 3-4 minutes or for as long as you can.

Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana or Compass Pose

Steps to Practice Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana or Compass Pose

  • To practice Compass pose, you must get into Dandasana or the staff pose on the floor or on the yoga mat.
  • Bend your right leg and bring the heel of your right leg to touch the left hip.
  • Lift you left leg with the help of your left arm beneath your leg.
  • Now, hold the left foot with your right hand.
  • Bring your left leg behind the left shoulder while twisting your torso towards right side.
  • Make sure your hamstring must be flexible while practicing this asana.
  • Stay in this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose for as long as you can.
  • This completes one round of compass pose.
  • Practice this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose on both sides.

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana or Revolved Head to Knee Pose

Steps to Practice Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana or Revolved Head to Knee Pose:

  • To do this type of seated spinal twist yoga pose, stretch out your left leg all the way from the hip joint. Bend your right knee, placing the bottom of the right foot against the inner part of your left thigh.
  • Your right leg and knee should be comfortably pressed on the floor while practicing Janu Sirsasana
  • While inhaling, extend your belly and torso right up erect. Exhale deeply.
  • While inhaling, stretch your arms up such that it creates more length in your spine.
  • While Exhaling, bend forward from the hip and hold your left foot with the fingers of your left hand and bend towards left side of the body towards the knee while keeping your right hand behind your back.
  • If you stretch too far, it will tend to round the spine and can lead to injury while practicing Janu Sirsasana.
  • Hold the pose and maintain your breath while holding the pose.

Skandasana or The Side Lunge Pose

Steps to Practice Skandasana or The Side Lunge Pose:

  • Stand straight on the floor or yoga mat. Get into Tadasana.
  • While standing in Tadasana, raise your spine and squeeze your belly inwards to extend the spine and shoulders upward while taking deep breaths.
  • Bring your palms together in Namaste pose or anjani pose near your chest.
  • Inhale deeply and while exhaling, bend your knees and sit on your feet and soles. Maintain a gap between the knees but maintain the feet together.
  • Once you are in this position with knees bent, straighten your left leg to the side and right leg to be bent close to the hip and bring both the palms to rest on the floor or yoga mat in front of you.
  • Now bend your body/torso to the left side and take your right arm to your back crossing the right leg and join the palm of the left hand behind the back.
  • Stay in this position for as long as you can.
  • This is one round of Skandasana or the side lunge pose.
  • Practice the pose from both sides.

Benefits of Practicing Seated Spinal Twist Yoga Poses

  • Seated spinal twist yoga poses are useful in treating Spinal Disorders like Slipped disc and Sciatica.
  • They help in relieving pain and stiffness between the vertebrae and relaxes the spinal area.
  • They also help in increasing the elasticity of the spine, tones the spinal nerves and improves the blood circulation across the spinal area and improves the functioning of spinal cord.
  • They are also said to increase the appetite and stimulates the digestive fire in the belly.
  • They also relieve menstrual pain as well.
  • Seated spinal twist yoga poses regulate the secretion of bile and adrenaline as well.
  • They massage the abdominal organs and regular practice can help relieve constipation.
  • Also, increase the flexibility of the hip joint.
  • Increase the circulation of blood to the pelvic region and therefore providing nutrients and oxygen, improving the health of the reproductive organs as well as the urinary system.
  • Useful for preventing urinary tract disorders.
  • Also help people with round/ rolled shoulders.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: November 15, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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