Yoga For Back Pain Relief: Supine Spinal Twist

You might be familiar with the Supine Spinal Twist posture as it is a very common stretch used not only in yoga for back pain relief but also in many other sports or exercise routines to stretch out your back.

If you are suffering from chronic back pain or recovering from an injury, making sure that you are in proper alignment and not forcing your body into the posture can prevent further pain and help relieve any tension that is currently causing you pain.

What Is Supine Spinal Twist?

If you are unfamiliar with Supine Spinal Twist, you are basically just lying on your back while bringing one leg across the body and twisting your back and core. The reason the posture is so popular is because if you have a tight back it is a great way to relieve built up pressure in your vertebrae which usually causes a popping sound and feels really good.

However, it is important that if you have back pain you attempt this posture very slowly. A lot of degenerative disc problems like sciatica need time to get stronger and heal before they are ready to twist in this pose.

If you are doing this posture at the end of a vinyasa yoga then your body is probably very warm which will allow you to get deeper into the pose. Be very cautious if you haven’t warmed up before you move into this pose and keep your breath and movements steady. If you feel more than a good stretch and start to feel sharp pain, back off and allow your muscles to stretch. Overtime you will become more flexible and able to get deeper into the pose and finally find relief from the pain.

Supine Spinal Twist

How To Perform Supine Spinal Twist

  • Lying on your back with your legs on the ground, begin to bend your left knee while interlocking your hands below your knee.
  • Your right leg should still be on the ground straight out in front of you.
  • As you grab your shin below your left knee start to pull your leg up and away from the left side of your body.
  • Place your right hand on the outside of your left knee and rest your left arm on the ground straight out away from your body.
  • Straighten your spine and begin to pull your left leg across your body.
  • Continue twisting your left knee across your body until it either rests or gently floats above the ground.
  • Be sure not to forcibly twist your body by cranking your left knee down with your right arm.
  • As you twist you might need to scoot your right hip back so your hips and shoulders are in line, allowing the spine to lengthen. 
  • Keep your gaze over your left shoulder while working towards resting your left shoulder on the ground.
  • Allow your stomach and ab muscles to relax completely.
  • Rest your right hand on your left knee and let gravity pull your body towards the ground.
  • Hold the posture for 5-10 breaths and then switch sides.

Benefits of Supine Spinal Twist

  • Releases tension in your lower back
  • Lengthens and loosens the muscles along the spine
  • Stretches out the shoulders and upper back
  • Improves digestion
  • Calms the mind

Practice Yoga For Back Pain Relief

Yoga For Back Pain
Yoga for back pain relief.

As time goes on our bodies naturally get weaker and aches and pains will occur more frequently and might appear suddenly due to years of inactivity. A regular yoga practice is going to heat up your body from the inside and build strength in your muscles and joints that have weakened overtime, causing you pain.

Consistent practice will make you stronger and more flexible than you ever thought possible and allow you to use postures like Supine Spinal Twist to their fullest ability instead of what you might commonly see other people doing.

One of the great added benefits of Supine Spinal Twist is the fact that it is a twist. Getting your body used to twisting is one of the best ways that you are going to be able to use your yoga practice to heal chronic back pain.

The reason a lot of us have chronic back pain is because there is something that has gotten out of alignment in our backs and is now causing pressure on something else. Twisting allows you to pinpoint problems areas in your body and work them back into alignment.

When combined with a high-intensity yoga routine, this and all other yoga postures will be used to fight your back pain. The most important thing is that you stick with it and overtime you will find the back pain relief that you’ve been looking for.

How can you use Supine Spinal Twist to help with your back pain?

Stick With It!

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  1. Steph

    A while back my lower back started hurting quite a bit and it was very persistent. I started doing this stretch along with several others twice a day and it helped immensely.

    This one is probably my favourite though, and it’s no surprise to me that it’s super popular. It feels good instantly and the results are noticeable.

    Great post in general though, I have been meaning to get into yoga to hopefully help it even more. There’s a lot of great knowledge here, thanks for sharing!

    1. yoga (Post author)

      Hi Steph, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! It’s so awesome how such a simple stretch can make your body feel so much better. A couple hours of yoga each week would be even better! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Steve

    IHi there
    I about to embark on new routine and include this exercise as I have some painful sciatic issues. I will report back in a week or so with an update. Thanks for the tips


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