The Lying Twist  
by: Vasanthi Bhat and Rajiv Jaswa (

The Lying Twist is a yogic pose or asana that is often used as a warmup. It offers a quick and simple method for relaxation and alleviating stress.


The Mental Benefits of the Lying Twist

Numerous benefits are acheived by practicing the lying twist. Many of these benefits deal with our mental state and the tension that accumulates in our bodies over the years. Tension bulids up in our bodies over time as we encounter stressful situations and tense moments. If this tension is not released then it is stored as muscle tension throughout our body. The lying twist stretches out the chest and neck muscles. The chest is where emotional tension is stored. Therefore, while practicing this pose, highly emotional moments from the past will be recalled. In order to release emotional tension, it is necessary to find resolutions and answers to problems while in this pose. This is one form of meditation and will allow you to relax as this tension is released from your chest. However, this is not the only way to relax while assuming the Lying Twist. You may also simply lie and think of all the good things you have done. By doing this, you will come out of the pose refreshed and optimistic. Other common ways of relaxing in yogic asanas include concentration on the breath flow and deep breathing. By practicing any of these meditation techniques in conjunction with the lying twist allow for a deep relaxation and a release of mental and muscle tension and stress.


The Physical Benefits of the Lying Twist

There are also a number of physical benefits that are derived through consistent practice of the Lying Twist. Many people suffer from sciatica and other pains from the hip region. However, this pose stretches out and strengthens the hip area and is useful in prevention and the curing of these problems. In addition, the neck and upper back muscles are also stretched out preventing stiffness other pains in this area. However, this pose is most powerful at alleviating back pain as it can releive back pain instantaneously. If this pose is practiced over a long period of time, it will eliminate all back problems and will prevent any future back problems. Finally, the Lying Twist expands the chest, strengthening the lungs and heart muscles. Therefore, it is useful in the prevention of lung and heart ailments. In this way, it is also used as a preventitive measure for breast cancer. As evident, there are numerous mental and physical benefits.


Practicing the Lying Twist

Many of the benefits that are described in the preceeding paragraph only come as a result of consistent practice over a long period of time. Therefore it is helpful to develop a daily routine to which this pose can be added. However, it can also be practiced by itself to relieve stress and tension at the end of a long day, or in the morning after waking up. To assume this pose follow the procedure as listed below:

  • Lying down, bend your legs at the knees. Then, place your right leg over the left leg.
  • Gently role to the left while stretching your arms out above your head.
  • Then, turn your head towards the right and adjust your arms.


  • Remain in the pose for a minute or longer. Then reassume the pose with your left leg over the right, gently rolling to the right, reversing the pose.


While assuming the pose breathe naturally. However, you may wish to practice deep breathing while practicing the lying twist once you are comfortable. Also, remember to practice this pose in a quiet and isolated area where you may properly concentrate and meditate if you wish to.