Hi, DOYOUYOGA family!
Today I want to talk to you about the health benefits of the humble and oft-overlooked Supine Twisting Posture, or Jathara Parivartanasana. This pose is one of my go-to end-of-class postures because it helps to make the transition from the yang of practice, into the yin of Savasana, so smooth and seamless.
This pose is both calming and conducive for meditative, slow breathing, as well as being very healing in its own right. So let’s take a look at what this pose can do for you!
1. Helps Release the Lower Back
When you actively engage your lower belly, and work to draw your shoulders down towards the mat while moving the weight of your legs down into the floor, you will be helping to create space in your lower back.
This area is often overly tight, which can lead to a whole host of issues from back pain all the way up to your neck, as well as pain all the way down your legs.
Holding this twist for an extended period of time, followed by taking a moment or two holding your knees into your chest in between sides is one of the best things you can do to help support an opening and release in this often overlooked area of the body.
2. Opens Tight Shoulders
When you are in this pose, most instructors will tell you to actively press your shoulders into the mat, as you drop your knees to one side. This active shoulder opening will help you to reverse the all too prevalent ‘shoulder hunch.’
This can help reduce upper back pain, neck pain, and can help to strengthen upper back muscles while opening tight chest and shoulder muscles. If you sit at a desk, this pose is certainly for you!
3. Elongates the Supporting Spinal Muscles
This pose is awesome for stretching out all of the muscles that run along your spine. Dropping your knees to the side and actively pressing the opposing shoulder to the mat creates traction for your entire spine. This leads to an awesome release in your spinal muscles that work so hard to support you all day.
If you deal with any back pain at all, this pose may be something you want to consider adding to your practice on a regular basis.
4. Improves Digestion
Twists are yoga’s remedy for poor digestion. You can think of your digestive system as a wet towel. When you are actively in your twist, you are wringing out your digestive system, just as you would the wet towel.
This movement can help expel wastes, move food and waste along your digestive system, and generally stimulate waste removal. When you release your twist, fresh blood—and therefore fresh oxygen and nutrients—can rush back into your digestive organs, helping nourish and support them.
If you have digestive troubles, this twist is awesome because you can hold it for longer periods of time than other poses, thus reaping even deeper benefits.
5. Quiets the Mind
Finally, this pose is great for tuning into the breath, tuning into the body, and helping to transition your practice into Savasana. This is a posture that you can hang out in for an extended period of time, and the longer you stay, the more your body will let go and surrender.
This is a wonderful thing! This pose is not overly active, so you won’t get tired holding it. Stay in this pose as long as you like and feel the deep rewards that come from deep release.
I feel this asana deserves some great time and attention. I believe that when you practice this pose with mindfulness and attention, you can reap some deeply therapeutic benefits from it. Never underestimate the power of a simple Supine Twist!
Image Credit: Yoga Bucket