Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Spinal Twist Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Spinal Twist Pose) - Sharp Muscle
7 min read
Updated: March 26, 2023

Jathara Parivartanasana, also known as Reclining Spinal Twist Pose, or Abdominal Twist Pose, tones the abdomen and makes the hips and spine more flexible.

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Twisting poses that rejuvenate and re-energize the body, relieve stress and fatigue, and lengthen and realign the spine. It treats you with a sense of relaxation by adding it to your yoga routine to flush out toxins from the body.

Experts believe that spine twists can relieve stiffness in the back, neck and shoulders. The twisting stimulator can massage your abdominal organs, eliminate constipation and gas, aid digestion, and relieve stress. Pregnant women may find it therapeutic to do this yoga pose during their second trimester.

This yoga pose is a great asana to treat bladder related problems. Jathara Parivartanasana strengthens the pelvic floor muscles and thus prevents menstrual-related issues including chronic pelvic pain. The pose is recommended for individuals with insomnia.


Knwon as:Jathara Parivartanasana, Reclining Spinal Twist Pose, Supine Spinal Twist Pose, Supta Matsyendrasana, Belly Twist Pose, Abdominal Twist Pose, Reclining Open Leg Spinal Twist Pose
Sanskrit name:ञठर परिवर्तनासन
IAST:Jaṭhara Parivartanāsana
Pronunciation:jah-TAHR-uh PAHR-ee-vahr-tah-NAHS-anna
Pose type:Twist
Total time:20-60 seconds
Eyes closed;
Beyond extended fingertips
Indications:Neck pain, second trimester pregnancy, lower backache
Counterpose:Apanasana (Knees-to-Chest Pose)
Preparatory poses:Katichakrasana, Marichyasana C, Vakrasana, Supta Matsyendrasana II, Bharadvajasana I
Follow-up poses:Shalabhasana, Purvottanasana, Bhujangasana, Savasana, Reverse Corpse Pose
Contraindications:Low or high blood pressure, Menstruation, Diarrhea, Headache

Meaning + Origin

The Jathara Parivartanasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of three words — Jathara + parivartan + asana:

  1. Jathara” = “belly or abdomen”
  2. parivartan” = “twisted or revolved”
  3. asana” = “pose or posture”
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The pose is not found in medieval Hatha yoga texts, but is described in 20th-century manuals including B. K. S. Iyengar’s 1966 Light on Yoga.

In Iyengar yoga, the hips are moved slightly away from the side where the feet will land before rotating. The weight can be held in the opposite direction in the hand. Jathara Parivartanasana can also be practiced by lowering the legs in half.

In Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, the pose is carefully used in conjunction with deep muscle exercises to help relieve lower back pain: this by itself is not sufficient because the core muscles along the spine strength also needs to be developed.

Benefits of Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Spinal Twist Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana is a beginner level pose and has multiple physical and mental benefits that are listed below:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Strengthens the lower back
    • Stretches the spine and shoulders
    • Opens the hips and chest
    • Relieves lower backache, neck pain, and sciatica
    • Improves digestion and circulation
  2. Mental Benefits:

Steps to Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Spinal Twist Pose)

  • Lie on the back with the legs extended.
  • Draw the knees into your chest and wrap your arms around your legs. Keep the knees and feet close together.
  • Keep your knees on your chest and extend your arms to the sides. Keeping your arms straight, turn your palms up. Press your sit bones toward the floor to create a natural arch in your lower back.
  • Inhale, move your knees to the left, then turn your head to the right. Extend from the core of your pelvis to the top of your head. Maintain a natural curve in your lower back. Press your shoulders back into the floor and draw the shoulder blades to your back.
  • Hold on for a few breaths. Inhale, bring the knees and head back to center, and repeat on the other side.
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Reclining Open Leg Spinal Twist Pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Reclining Open Leg Spinal Twist Pose (Jathara Parivartanasana) - Sharp Muscle
Image: simonagyoga/Instagram
  • Lie on your back and spread your legs.
  • Lift your left leg up and hold it with your right hand and rotate it across your body. Turn your outer left hip away from your left shoulder. Bend your sacrum slightly forward to arch your lower back. Keep your left shoulder on the floor.
  • To deepen the twist, bend your right leg and reach your foot with your left hand, pulling the heel in toward your hips. Lengthen your tailbone down and extend it with both feet. Keep your left knee down and twist your stomach and chest to the right.
  • Stay in this pose for about 20 seconds, then release and repeat the process on the other side.

Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Open Leg Spinal Twist Pose)

Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Open Leg Spinal Twist Pose) - Sharp Muscle
Image: cinta_akashayoga/Instagram
  • Lie down on your back on the floor.
  • Extend both arms in line with the shoulders, so that the body looks like a cross.
  • Exhaling raise both the legs till they are perpendicular to the floor. They should stay poker tough, so don’t bend them at the knees.
  • Stay in this position for a few breaths. Then exhale, and lower both feet down towards the floor to the left, until the toes of the left foot almost touch the toes of the left hand. Try and keep the back well on the floor. In the initial stages, the right shoulder will be lifted off the floor. Ask a friend to press it down to stop it, or hold a heavy piece of furniture with the right hand when the feet are sideways to the left.
  • Both feet should go down together, knees should be kept tight throughout. Keep the lumbar part of the back on the floor as far as possible and bend the legs only from the hips. When the legs are near the outstretched left hand, move the stomach to the right.
  • Stay in this pose for about 20 seconds, keeping the legs completely rigid. Then while exhaling, slowly move the stationary legs back towards the vertical.
  • Keep the legs straight for a few breaths and then repeat the movements by lowering the legs to the right and turning the stomach to the left. Stay here for the same amount of time and while exhaling come back to the vertical position of the legs and then slowly lower the feet to the floor and relax.
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Modifying Jathara Parivartanasana

Use Bolster or Folded Blanket

Place a folded blanket or bolster under your hips or pelvis while lifting your knees to the chest. As you rotate, rest the knees on the bolster. This will reduce the compression of your spine while rotating your abdomen.

Use Yoga Block

Place a yoga block squeezed between your knees while lowering your bent knees to the floor. This will stabilize your lower back and sacrum. Also squeezing the block while twisting increases the rotation of your lower back.

Use Yoga Belt

Tie a belt over the shin around your upper back. It helps to bring your knees as close to the abdomen as possible and helps in breathing. Turn the belt buckle toward your knees to adjust or remove after turning.

Precautions and Contraindications

While Jathara Parivartanasana (Reclining Spinal Twist Pose) looks simple and easy, below are some precautions to keep in mind as you practice:

  • Do not lift your shoulders off the floor while turning your head in the opposite direction in the direction of lowering the legs
  • Make sure your knees are not below the pelvic area
  • Keeping your ankles, knees and hips stacked while lowering your legs to one side
  • Avoid lifting the upper back while twisting
  • Injuries to the neck, shoulders, back, hips and knees
  • Discomfort around the knees can be avoided by placing a cushion between the knees
  • Spondylitis
  • Slip disc
  • Pregnant women should take steps to modify this pose under the guidance of a yoga teacher/instructor

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