Supine Spinal Twist Yoga Pose I - Supta Matsyendrasana

Supine Spinal Twist Yoga Pose I ( front) - Iana Varshavska


Supine Spinal Twist Yoga Pose I or Supta Matsyendrasana in Sanskrit (‘supta’ = ‘recline’, ‘matsya’ = ‘fish’, and ‘endra’ = ‘refers to Lord Indra the ruler’). The name Matsyendra, here refers to the lord of the fishes, and this pose depicts the pose Ardha Matsyendrasana in the supine version.

This pose is a great twist to the spine and the abdomen and hence is also referred to as the abdominal twist pose.

Supine Spinal Twist Yoga Pose I helps to stretch and release tension in the spine, hips, and lower back. It can be used both as a stand-alone pose and as compensation after backbends and core-strengthening yoga poses.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie down on your back.
Step 2
Bend your knees and put the soles of your feet on the floor with your knees pointing up toward the ceiling.
Step 3
Press into your feet to lift your hips slightly off the floor and shift them about an inch to your right. This is an important step because it sets your hips up to stack one on top of the other when you move into the twist.
Step 4
Exhale and draw your right knee into your chest and extend your left leg flat on the floor. Keep your left foot actively flexed throughout the pose. Inhale.
Step 5
Open your right arm to the right, keeping it in line with your shoulders. Rest your left hand on your right knee or extend it to make a T shape with the arms. Turn your palms toward the ceiling.
Step 6
Exhale and cross your right knee over your midline to the floor on the left side of your body. Your right hip is now stacked on top of your left hip. You can hook your right foot behind your left knee if you like. On your exhalations, release your left knee and your right shoulder toward the floor. Turn your head to the right, bringing your gaze over your shoulder to your right fingertips. You can skip this step if it doesn't feel good on your neck.
Step 7
Hold the pose for five to 10 breaths. To come out of the pose, inhale and roll onto your back, drawing your right knee into your chest. Release both legs to the floor to neutralize your spine for several breaths before doing the other side.

Benefits and Contraindications


Helps release the lower back

Opens tight shoulders

Elongates the supporting spinal muscles

Improves digestion

Quiets the mind


Recent or chronic injury to the knees, hips or back.

Photo poses in different angles


Avoid these errors when doing this pose.

  • Holding the Breath: You should breathe deeply and smoothly throughout this pose. Do not hold your breath.
  • Forcing Knee to the Floor: Do not force your knee to the floor. If reaching the floor does not feel accessible, bring your knee over only as much as you can comfortably. You might place a pillow under your knees and feet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Modifications & Variations

  • Supine Spinal Twist Pose II
  • Supine Spinal Twist with Bent Legs
  • Supine Spinal Twist Pose II Bolster Under Hips
  • Supine Spinal Twist Eagle Legs Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.