Supta Matsyendrasana (Cross Twist Pose/Supine Spinal Twist)

English Name(s)
Supta Matsyendrasana, Cross Twist Pose
सुप्तमत्स्येन्द्रासन / Supta Matsyendrasana
soop-TAH MOTS-yen-DRAHS-anah
supta = supine, reclined
matsya = fish
indra = ruler
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Supta Matsyendrasana (soop-TAH MOTS-yen-DRAHS-anah) is a gentle twist that massages the abdominal organs, helping the kidneys and liver, facilitating digestion and reducing constipation. It stretches the glutes and back, allowing a release in the hips, and opens tight shoulders.

Energetic Benefits

Like all twists, this pose is energizing. It allows a lengthening of the spine that creates space between the vertebrae, allowing energy to flow better throughout the body.

B.K.S. Iyengar describes twists as a “squeeze-and-soak” action: The organs are compressed and blood filled with toxins is pushed out, then upon release, fresh blood flows in. This fresh blood is carrying oxygen and begins to help heal tissue. This stimulation of circulation to your organs can help detoxify your body and increase metabolism and your rate of excretion.


Avoid this asana if you have severe spinal injuries. Also, pregnant women should modify the depth of the twist by using a bolster.

Going into the Pose

Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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