Vakrasana (Simple Spinal Twist)

English Name(s)
Vakrasana, Simple Spinal Twist
वक्रासन / Vakrasana
vakra: “twisted” or “crooked”
āsana: “posture”

Physical Benefits

Vakrasana (vakra āsana) massages the abdominal organs, helps facilitate digestion and regulates the secretion of digestive juices. These reduce constipation and stomach diseases. The twist also helps reduce belly fat. It increases the elasticity of the spine and relieves vertebrae stiffness. Additionally, it stretches the hip joints and the legs.

Energetic Benefits

Ashtavakra was the son of sage Aruni’s daughter, Sujata, and Kahoda. When Sujata was pregnant, her baby heard the chanting of Vedas and learned correct recitation. According to legend, Kahoda was reciting the Vedas and did not have correct intonation. The baby corrected his father; Kahoda responded by cursing his son. Ashtavakra was born crooked with eight bends, which is what Ashtavakra means.

The twisted, crooked nature of Vakrasana stimulates the Navel (Manipura) Chakra. This pose will empower you and increase your energy.  It will also improve your sense of self and increase your self-esteem.


Avoid this asana if you have ulcers, slipped disc, or severe spine, shoulder, or hip injury. Also, as a closed twist, women who are pregnant should avoid this pose.

Getting 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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