Restorative Yoga: Supta Matsyendrasana [SOOP-TAH MOTS-YEN-DRAHS-ANAH] / Supine Spinal Twist 

Image source [3]

“”The attributes necessary for success in any endeavor are common sense, disciple and attention to detail.”

– Professor Norm Fryman

Restorative yoga poses are meant to calm the central nervous system (CNS) down and allow the mind and the body to relax into each pose for extended periods of time.  Be mindful of entering into each pose and slowly transitioning into a restful savasana / child’s pose or a restorative side lying position with a pillow supporting your neck to allow your nervous system to adjust to the physical changes from each pose.  Most importantly listen to your body and if for some reason you aren’t comfortable in a specific pose gently move into a different pose that works best for you and your body.

Health Benefits [2, 3, 4, 5]

  • inversion poses bring the head below the heart and the lower extremities above it shifting our perception in space
  • lowered blood pressure
  • lowered heart rate
  • improved circulation throughout the body
  • release of endorphin hormones from the brain
  • deep relaxation and calmness from within stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) from the autonomic nervous system (ANS)

Props Needed:

  • towel or yoga blanket folded to support your neck (optional)
  • yoga mat (optional)


  • passive twist allows your back muscles to release and restore themselves when cooling down from backbends
  • stimulating and activating the digestive organs
  • spinal elongation and unraveling old holding patterns in lower back and hip abductor muscles
  • “wringing out” for internal organs to increase blood flow and circulation to the area

Precautions/Contraindications [2, 3, 4, 5]

  • do not perform poses or movements that cause pain or discomfort
  • pregnant beyond the first trimester
  • glaucoma or other eye disorders
  • currently taking any blood pressure medications
  • history of stroke or heart disease
  • diabetes
  • spinal problems
  • chronic neck pain
  • excessive weight
  • head injuries
  • inner ear issues
  • hiatus hernias
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • osteoporosis / osteopenia *

*modification can be a safe option for some but talk with teacher before trying

Innervation & Chakra Illuminated

  • vagus nerve helps to regulate our nervous system
  • third chakra related to central or solar plexus, digestive organs, muscles, immune system and nervous system.


Image source [3]

  1. Start in a comfortable seated position or siddhasana pose with your eyes closed.
  2. Tune into your breath and how your body is feeling.  On the next inhalation through your nose allow your ribs to expand like an accordion.  On the exhalation allow your body to soften into the floor allowing the air out through your nose or mouth.  Repeat this cycle for at least 5 to 10 rounds taking this time to scan your body for any tension allowing your body to release the tension from your body on each exhalation.  
  3. Place a towel or folded blanket underneath your neck for additional support if needed.  Start with you knees bent and rest on your back.  
  4. Cross the foot on the knee and then turn the pelvis to one side.
  5. Lengthen your arms out to the sides about shoulder height or lower with your palms up facing the ceiling.
  6. Turn your head in the opposite direction of your lower legs and close your eyes only twisting as far as it feels comfortable.  If you have rotated too far your shoulders will start to lift off the floor and you need to derotate to maintain both shoulders on the mat.
  7. Close your eyes and relax here for several minutes (3 to 10 minutes) each time allowing yourself to go deeper into the pose.  
  8. When your ready to rotate to the other side on your next exhale come back to neutral with both feet on the mat.  
  9. On your next exhale rotate your knees in the opposite direction from before and allow your head to rotate away from your lower legs.  
  10. When your ready to rotate to the other side on your next exhale come back to neutral with both feet on the mat.  
  11. When you’re ready to come out of this pose,roll to the right and rest in the fetal position keeping your eyes closed before returning to a comfortable seated position or siddhasana pose.  Take 5 more even inhalations and exhalations scanning your body.  
  12. Tune into your body.  What do you notice from this pose?  How this has pose allowed things to shift and settle within your body?

This is just one of the restorative yoga poses we suggest trying on your own.  We have additional blog post specific to pilates, pre/post natal, bone building for osteoporosis/osteopenia, mindful meditation, restorative yoga therapy, partner and endurance training.  We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach and blend our knowledge and training of movement, nutrition, massage therapy and traditional chinese medicine.

We love teaching mindful movement and are here to support you in your journey. We offer customized online remote training from anywhere in the world. Contact us today to get started and learn to move with less pain and greater ease. We look forward to partnering with you and answering your movement questions and/or concerns.

Assumption of the Risk: By attempting any of the exercises, you do so at your own risk.  We make no representations, guarantees or warranties that the information or exercises on this blog are appropriate for you or will result in improvements of your medical condition or function.

Not medical advice or physical therapy.  This content is intended to provide information and instructions on general exercises that may help increase strength, mobility, and function for specific areas of the body.  It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining a medical diagnosis or medical or physical therapy advice from a qualified licensed provider.  You should seek medical advice from a qualified physician or physical therapist before trying any of the exercises or self-treatment suggestions on this blog, particularly if your pain is from a traumatic injury or event.


  1. DALE, C., 2009. The Subtle Body An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy. Boulder, CO: Sounds True, Inc.
  2. LONG, R., 2020. Anatomy of Arm Balances and Inversions. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
  3. LONG, R., 2010a. Anatomy for Backbends and Twists. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
  4. LONG, R., 2010b. Anatomy for Hip Openers and Forward Bends. Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publisher.
  5. LONG, R., 2010c. Anatomy for Vinyasa Flow and Standing Poses . Plattsburgh, NY: Bandha Yoga Publications.