A Complete Guide to Supta Matsyendrasana | How to Perform & Benefits

Supine Spinal Twist Yoga

After performing intense yoga for hours sitting in a chair, practicing subtle spine movements with your warmed-up muscles feels good.

A Supine Spinal Twist or Supta Matsyendrasana Yoga is often used as the last yoga stretch to relieve your spine and give it a good stretch at the end of your yoga session.

Some yogis try this pose when starting the yoga session and at the end.

Also called Supta Matsyendrasana, this is one of the most flexible and smooth yoga poses that relax your mind, promote the feeling of physical and mental relaxation, and, most importantly, cools down your body after a lot of stretching.

So, are you ready to learn the benefits of Supta Matsyendrasana? You are in the right place.

This post shares all details of this super calming and relaxing yoga stretch that every Yogi should know.

Let’s check out how to do Supta Matsyendrasana, the benefits of this stretch, and some precaution tips you must know before stretching.

Table of Contents

How to Do Supta Matsyendrasana (Steps)

A few basic considerations when practicing Supta Matsyendrasana are like other yoga stretches.

You need to practice this twist in a peaceful location, preferably in the morning and on an empty stomach. The perfect time to practice the stretch is soon after waking up.

Lay your yoga mat and follow the below steps to execute Supta Matsyendrasana.

  1. Lie on the floor facing the ceiling. Keep your body straight and shoulders relaxed.
  2. Lift your knees slightly so that they are facing the ceiling.
  3. Gently raise your hips a little bit and without moving your upper body, turn your lower body to the left, such that your right knee is crossed over your waist to the ground on the left side.
  4. During the process, keep your left leg relaxed and straight.
  5. When you get in this position, your right hip (the one that’s raised) will be stacked on top of the left hip, and your right knee will touch the floor on the left side.
  6. Your palms should be facing the ceiling, and your arms must be stretched to the sides.
  7. Be relaxed during the pose, and don’t put any stress on your upper body.
  8. Exhale and get your right knee back to its original position. Lift it gently from the floor and place it next to the left leg.
  9. Repeat the same steps for your left knee—cross it over your right leg with your left leg stacked on top of the right hip.

You need to hold each pose for 5-10 breaths before lifting your leg back to its original position. Keep your upper body straight, and your shoulder relaxed all the time.

While the steps are simple, most beginners tend to make common mistakes when executing Supta Matsyendrasana.

For example, some people hold their breath, which is wrong. You should instead keep breathing while moving the body.

In fact, your breath should be synced perfectly with your lower body movements to create a perfect balance.

Also, you don’t have to force your knee down to the floor on the other side.

It’s normal if you are unable to touch your knee to the ground. Beginners often face problems here.

However, stretching your back too much just to touch the ground can cause problems in your back.

You should leave your knee as far as they go without hurting. Even better, you can place a pillow on each side for support.

Watch YouTube Supta Matsyendrasana tutorial videos to get a visual picture of how to execute these steps flawlessly.

Supta Matsyendrasana Variations

To make this pose better, you can make a few variations. For instance, pregnant women can keep pillows under both knees to bend and straighten them properly.

Another tip you can try here is to bring your leg up to 90 degrees and get into the Eagle leg pose by wrapping one of the legs around the other. Then, you can bend the knee over to another side.

Health Benefits of Supta Matsyendrasana

This pose is incredibly calming and has a healing effect when done correctly. Here are some health benefits of Supta Matsyendrasana.

Opens Tight Shoulders

When moving your knees over to one side, your trainer will ask you to press your shoulders into the ground.

This will help release the tension on your shoulders. It helps alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain and opens your tight shoulders.

If you spend too much time sitting at the desk, then Supta Matsyendrasana is the best stretch for you.

Good for Digestion

Think of your digestive system as a wet towel. Just like how wringing out a wet cloth help release all the moisture and dry your cloth, twists can help detoxify your stomach by promoting faster and smoother excretion.

As soon as you release the twist by bringing the lower body back to its original position, the oxygen and blood will start rushing back into place.

The pose is highly recommended for people with digestive issues, as it is one of the few twists you can hold for a couple of breaths, thus reaping the best benefits.

It Relaxes Your Mind

As mentioned earlier, you can stay in this pose for a prolonged period, allowing your mind and body enough time to relax.

The pose doesn’t require any upper-body strength and only engages your knees and legs.

Of course, it releases tension on your shoulders without putting any stress on your body.

Stay for as long as you can, and you will notice the effects of the pose on your mental health.

Bottom Line

Supta Matsyendrasana is a great energy-boosting exercise for yogis.

This is often performed at last, after you are done with an intense Yoga session.

Although it’s safe for people of all ages, you shouldn’t try Supta Matsyendrasana if you have an elbow or wrist condition.

Always stand against the wall when practicing Supine Spinal Twist if you have a balancing problem.

You can always use blocks for support or keep pillows under each knee so your legs can lift and roll easily.

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