Vakrasana or Simple Spinal Twist or Twisted Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

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

Vakrasana at a Glance

Vakrasana: Vakrasana (Half Spinal Twist Pose) is a Seated spinal twist. Out of the 12 types of Hatha yoga, Vakrasana is in the 9th pose. This is good for your back muscles and abdomen and helps digestion. This helps to tone the nerves around the spinal cord. This yoga pose can balance your physical and mental state, making it a valuable addition to your routine.


  • Vakrasana helps to reduce the stiffness of your spine and loosens it and also tones the spinal nerves
  • Vakrasana helps with better digestion and relieves constipation.
  • It is good to decrease the lower abdomen fat and tone it.
  • Vakrasana Half spinal twist posture is good for diabetes.

Who can do it?

Beginners (under the guidance of a yoga teacher) can do Vakrasana pose. Teenagers or middle-aged people can practice the Vakrasana pose. People continuously sitting with their office work, can do Vakrasana to get a good stretch and loosen their muscles. People who want to improve their posture also can do this asana.

Who should not do it?

People with severe back pain should avoid doing Vakrasana or consult their yoga teacher. Pregnant women should avoid doing the half-spinal twist pose. Any recent surgeries done also should be avoided. People having severe sciatica or spondylitis issues should avoid doing it.

How to Do Vakrasana?

Follow the Step-by-Step Instructions

Vakrasana is one of the upper body twist yoga poses (twisting posture) for beginners.

  1. Practice Vakrasana in the morning times before any meal or if you are doing it after the meal see that you do it after 4 to 5 hours, when your stomach is empty.
  2. You can start with the Dandasana Pose. Sit straight (spine straight) and steady and grounded.
  3. Sit on the yoga mat, carpet, or any soft surface or surface to do the Vakrasana spinal twist posture.
  4. Keep your legs stretched and straight in front of you with the heels on the ground and toes pointing upward.
  5. Keep your hands on the sides of your body.
  6. Breathe in and out gently to relax your body and prepare for the Vakrasana yoga posture.
  7. First, you can start with the left leg, bend your left knee, and keep the left foot near your right inner thigh (above or next to the right inner knee). The bent leg should be straight (knee pointing upward) and not fall outward.
  8. The hand of the bent knee side (left hand) should go back near your buttocks, your palms resting and facing the floor.
  9. Inhale deeply and exhale as you Twist your body toward the left.
  10. The upper part of the right arm (right hand) should come over the left knee (as if supporting it by falling outward) and keep it straight and touching the left ankle or left knee with your right hand.
  11. See that your back is straight and erect in the twisting position and comfortable; don’t force yourself to twist more if you cannot. Just respect your limitations.
  12. Be in this Vakrasana pose for about 20 to 30 seconds, breathing gently. While holding the pose.
  13. Slowly come out of the Vakrasana pose, releasing your arms one by one, then your legs, and come into the Dandasana pose.
  14. Then, you can do the yoga pose on the other side (right leg) as you did with your left leg.
  15. Do it slowly and feel the sensations in the body, feel the stretch, and relax your body and mind.

What are the Benefits of Vakrasana?

  • The Vakrasana Spinal twist helps your back to be more flexible, gives a good stretch and reduces stiffness and back pain.
  • This posture helps to give a good massage to your abdominal muscles and helps with better digestion and relief from constipation and gas.
  • This pose, while twisting your body, helps tone your abdomen by reducing the fat in the abdomen area and waist.
  • This stretches your inner and outer thighs and hip muscles and joints.
  • With regular practice, the Vakrasana helps to stimulate the pancreas, so good for diabetic people.
  • Half spinal twist pose helps to open up the muscles of your chest and shoulders and makes them more flexible and healthier.
  • Doing any Vakrasana variation will benefit you the benefit of Vakrasana by keeping you aware of your breath and body. This increases the focus and concentration on your physical and mental state.
  • This also is good for relieving the stress of the physical and mental body. Energizes you and helps you to be relaxed.

Also See: 200 Hour Online Teacher Training

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Vakrasana

Good for Diabetic People

When you practice this asana regularly, this will stimulate your pancreas, which secretes more insulin. This can also help to manage blood sugar levels.

Manage Your Weight Issues

Regular practice can also reduce the fat around your waist, hips, and lower abdomen. The twist in this pose can help you reduce and tone the muscles around this area.

Heart-Related Issues

You can practice the Vakrasana pose, which manages your Blood Pressure level. It reduces the stress level in your heart and can lower the chances of heart-related problems.

Back Pain

People working in a seated position for a long period can stress the back a lot. To relieve this stress and pain, they can regularly do the Vakrasana pose for better relief.

Menstrual Pain

If you have a pain or cramp during your menstrual cycle, you can do this asana gently to get yourself relieved from the cramp or pain.

Indigestion and Constipation

People with irregular bowel movements or gas issues can bring the Vakrasana into their routine. This can help to control your bowel movement and clear the indigestion and gas problems.

Stiff Body

If your body parts are stiff due to a sedentary lifestyle, you do Vakrasana regularly and this can help to reduce the stiffness in your back, shoulders, hips, and thighs and make it flexible.

Safety and Precautions

  • Vakrasana should be done on the yoga mat, carpet, or any soft and even surface.
  • If you are pregnant, avoid doing this pose as this puts pressure on your abdomen. Consult your doctor and do it accordingly.
  • Avoid doing it if you have severe back pain or it can be more painful. Consult your doctor before doing this asana.
  • Make it a practice to do warm-up exercises before any yoga practice, and so is important to do a warm-up pose before Attempting for the Vakrasana pose.
  • Respect your body and your physical limitations. Don’t force for a deep twist. This can hurt or can end up with a sprain or pain. Deepen the twist gradually and increase as your body develops better flexibility.
  • Balance your body equally during the pose with your arms, legs, and twist.
  • While you come out of the Vakrasana yoga asana, don’t leave with a jerk. Leave the pose gently, releasing the body parts one by one.

Common Mistakes

  • Beginners should avoid doing it alone if they are unclear with the alignment procedure. Just start it under the Trained yoga teacher.
  • Remember to ground your sit bones firmly for better balance and stability.
  • Pregnant women should never do any yoga poses on their own, and this being a twist pose, you should consult your health care professional to do it accordingly but under a prenatal yoga teacher.
  • See that you bend your back while doing this asana; keep your back straight.
  • Don’t hold your breath while you hold your pose. Inhale and exhale throughout the pose.
  • Don’t strain your body if you can twist must. Keep it simple, and even your hand, if you cannot touch your feet, it is fine. Just reach till you can, but keep the alignment and back straight.

Tips for Vakrasana

  • Coordination of your breath with your body is very important when you practice the Vakrasana Spinal twist pose.
  • Remember to keep your shoulders at the same level and not shrug or stress it.
  • Don’t strain your spine by giving a deeper twist, even if possible.
  • Be mindful and see that your body posture and back are straight.
  • Always do this pose on both sides (with both legs).

The Physical Alignment Principles for the Vakrasana

  • Relax your body, and keep your back straight and legs straight in front.
  • When you bend the left knee, keep the left foot next to the right knee.
  • Now, to twist, turn towards the bent knee(left) by breathing out and slowly and gently make the twist.
  • The hand of the bent leg side should go back and be placed near your buttocks and support the twist. Your palm should be facing the floor.
  • The bent knee’s opposite arm (right hand) should touch or catch hold of the left foot or toe.
  • Your back should be straight throughout the pose, with no hunching or creating any stress in the back.
  • Breathing is important to get the proper pose, so keep breathing gently when you hold the Vakrasana pose. Don’t hold your breath.
  • When you twist your upper body and turn your head, look straight and don’t look down or up.
  • Maintaining balance and stability is important, so see that you are sitting on your sit bones.
  • Coming out of this yoga posture gently is also important because if you come out of the pose suddenly, you can hurt yourself, so come out slowly of the half spinal twist pose.

Vakrasana and Breath

  • Every yoga posture breath is the guide to get the proper pose and the benefits to your entire body. So, for the Vakrasana pose, you must coordinate your breath and body movements. Relax by gently breathing in and out before starting the pose.
  • You exhale and then twist your upper body and throw away your tension. When you come to the twisting pose, inhale and exhale gently, being aware of your body, mind, and sensations. When you want to twist back, exhale deeply and come out with a sense of relaxation and calmness.
  • Take a deep breath and do the same procedure with your breath and body movement on the other side. When you exhale, you let go of all the tensions in your body and mind.

Vakrasana and Variations

Take Away

Vakrasana is one of the best spinal twists (twists the spinal muscles) that everyone, from beginners, can do, and has many benefits. Vakrasana is a spinal twisting pose that helps to improve your spinal flexibility, can improve blood circulation in the spine, and also massages the abdomen, which helps to better digestion.

Maintaining your posture or improving it is good by regularly practicing the asana. This strengthens your core and gives balance and stability to your whole body and mind. This yoga pose helps you to let go of the tensions in your body and mind, and relax your inner you.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.


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