Supine (Reclining) Twist Pose
Sanskrit: Supta Matsyendrasana
Image courtesy of Yogajournal.com
Twists are one of my most favorite poses. Not that I can really choose. However, these tend to be more relaxing or if one can allow for relaxation and release to occur within the twist a profound feeling of connection or awareness ensues. Twists are great for wringing out the body and organs of toxins, assists in better digestion and are great for rejuvenation. They assist us with our balance, create space for improved breathing and are great for toning as well. Twists symbolically hold the past and the future while maintaining center/middle ground for presence in the very moment. In twists you are facing forward, while looking behind you. All while maintaining a grounded center. So if we can take the advice the twist gives and hold what serves us best from our past and work towards an uplifting future while maintaining presence in the very moment that truly is our only reality then we have fulfilled one of many aspects this pose can hold for us.
“Reclining Twist offers an opportunity to feel the power of wringing out the body from its core. It can improve breathing, ease back and neck tension, and soothe frazzled nerves. Its reclined position lets us linger in the posture’s curves and spirals, inviting the twist to penetrate deep into the spine.” ~ Claudia Cummin, YogaJournal.com
Directions on how to come into the pose:
Lie down flat on your back. Bring your body to a neutral position. Soften the lower back, but don’t flatten. Legs full extended out. Bend your right knee and bring it in towards your chest. Give it a little hug with your arms. Then take your left hand over your right knee and guide it over your body to left towards the floor. Allow your right arm to come straight out at shoulder height behind you. Keep both shoulders on the mat. If you are unable to maintain both shoulders on the mat, you can place a block under your right knee to give it a little lift while enabling you to relax into this pose. You may turn your head to the right looking over your right shoulder if that feels good in your neck. If not, allow your head to look where it is comfortable. Release the tension from your muscles. Relax into this pose. To bring yourself out, gently roll onto your back while your right knee comes back up to center and allow it to stretch out flat on the mat. Switch sides.
When not to do this pose or to modify/Contraindications:
If you have back or neck injury or pain. Do not turn your head if you have a neck injury. Modify this position for knee or back injuries. If you have any knee pain use a block or two blocks to raise the knee up to a position that feels comfortable. If you have a back injury that is aggravating you in this pose be sure to modify and come out if you feel any pain.
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