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(parsva sukhasana)

Simple Twist helps to increase the flexibility of your spine and upper back. This pose is also useful for stretching your shoulders and upper chest. Performing this pose also massages your abdominal organs, which helps to improve digestion. Simple Twist is commonly used as a warm-up pose and as a counter pose after forward bends and back bends.

As you perform Simple Twist, make sure you keep your hips even and your sitting bones in contact with the floor throughout the pose. Allow the twist to come from your spine, not from your hips.

If you have difficulty sitting with your legs crossed in Simple Twist, you can modify the pose so that one leg is bent and the other leg is extended in front of you. Make sure you twist toward your bent knee and alternate which leg is straight when you switch sides.

You should avoid Simple Twist if you have problems with the discs in your back.


Begin in Easy Pose. For information on Easy Pose, see page 74.

Turn your upper body toward the right.

Place your right palm on the floor behind your right hip, with your fingers pointing behind you.

Rest your left palm on your right knee.

Exhale as you twist your upper body further to the right.

• Make sure your sitting bones remain on the floor throughout the pose.

Turn your head to look over your right shoulder.

• If you feel strain in your neck, bring your head back to a neutral position.

How can I modify Simple Twist to open my chest more?

Perform the pose as described in the steps below, except place your hands on top of your shoulders. Your fingers should be on the front your shoulders with your thumbs on the back of your shoulders. As you twist, keep your upper arms parallel to the floor.

What can I do to move deeper into the twist?

To warm up your body and move deeper into the twist, you can twist and release your upper body several times before you hold the pose.

What should I do if I cannot sit straight in Simple Twist?

Try sitting on the edge of two or three thickly folded blankets. This allows your knees to drop so you can sit straight more easily.

Parsva Sukhasana

Point the crown of your head toward the ceiling to lengthen your spine.

• Visualize the twist beginning at the base of your spine, moving up through your spine and continuing through your neck.

Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then return to Easy Pose.

Repeat steps to 8 for your other side.

If you have difficulty sitting in Simple Twist, you can perform the pose with one leg extended in front of you.

Begin in Staff Pose. For information on Staff Pose, see page 72.

2 Bend your right leg and place the sole of your right foot against the inside of your left leg. Let your right knee drop toward the floor and then perform the twist. Then repeat for your other side.

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The Hindu-Yogi Science of Breath

A complete guide on Eastern practices of breathing, mental, psychic and spiritual development. The book teaches that Yoga is divided into several branches, ranging from that which teaches the control of the body, to that which teaches the attainment of the highest spiritual development.

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