Seated Twists

Seated Twists, as all of the twists in yoga, are wonderful for the spine. Twists help keeping your spine supple and healthy. They also promote digestion due to the massage effect that they have on the internal organs.

Seated Cross Legged Twist - Parivrtta Sukhasana

Seated Cross Legged Twist

  • Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and your back as straight as possible.

  • Place your left hand on the floor behind your back and your right hand on your left knee.

  • Inhale, lengthen your spine. Reach up with the crown of your head.

  • Exhale, twist your torso toward the left.

  • Use your hands and arms as props to deepen the twist.

Seated Cross Legged Twist

Posture tip

Keep your chest open and your spine perpendicular to the floor. Try not to let your chest collapse toward the floor.

Half Lord of the Fish Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half Lord of The Fish Pose is among other great seated twists that can help warm up your spine gently.

If you would like more challenge, there is a variation of this pose that will offer what you are looking for. The use of a yoga strap can help you work your way up to this variation.

Half Lord of The Fish Pose
  • Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, knees bent. Make sure to sit on your sitting bones (Move the flesh as needed).

  • Slide your right foot under your left leg and bring it next to your left hip.

  • Cross your left leg over the right and place your left foot flat on the floor.

  • Place your left hand on the floor behind you.

  • Inhale, lifting your right hand toward the ceiling to lengthen the spine.

  • Posture tip

    Keep your back vertical and twist the spine around its own axis, as if you were wringing a towel.

  • As you exhale, twist your torso toward the left and lower you right elbow to the outside of your left knee.

  • Press your elbow against your knee and use your left hand to deepen the twist.

  • Keep the shoulders down and away from the ears.

Variation - Holding your hands

  • Reach forward with your right upper arm to bring your armpit against your knee.

  • Bring your right hand down, pivoting your arm at the shoulder and slide it through the hole created by your legs.

  • At the same time, reach behind your back with your left hand. Try to hold your hands together. If you can't reach your hands, try using a yoga strap to make up for the gap.

  • Once your hands are clasped (or you are holding the strap), lift your chest up and try straightening your spine.

  • Feel the twist and breathe.

Main Target / Benefits
  • Promotes digestion.

  • Improves flexibility of the spine.

  • Massages internal organs.

Caution / Recommendation
  • Spine injuries: Consult your physician as necessary and use caution or avoid the posture completely until healed.