Video: Seated Spinal Twist

Sitting for long periods can lead to a variety of problems, including stiff muscles, poor posture, and even chronic pain. One way to combat these issues is by incorporating regular stretching and movement into your routine. The seated spinal twist is a simple yet effective exercise that can help to improve flexibility, release tension, and reduce back pain.

What is the Seated Spinal Twist?

The seated spinal twist is a yoga pose that stretches and massages the spine, hips, and shoulders. It opens up the chest and abdomen, improves digestion, and can even help to relieve stress and anxiety. This exercise is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, making it a great addition to any workout routine.

Benefits of the Seated Spinal Twist

  • Improves spinal flexibility. The seated spinal twist helps to lengthen and loosen the muscles and ligaments surrounding the spine, which can improve your range of motion and reduce stiffness.
  • Releases tension in the back and shoulders. Sitting for long periods can lead to tension and pain in the back and shoulders. The seated spinal twist helps to release this tension and improve posture.
  • Improves digestion. The twisting motion of the pose helps to stimulate the digestive system and can relieve constipation.
  • Reduces stress and anxiety. Yoga is known for its calming effects, and the seated spinal twist is no exception. The gentle stretching and focus on breath can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Increases energy levels. By improving circulation and releasing tension, the seated spinal twist can help to increase energy levels.

How to Do the Seated Spinal Twist

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. You can sit on a mat or on a blanket for added comfort.
  2. Bend your left knee and place your foot flat on the floor outside of your right thigh.
  3. Place your right hand behind you on the floor, fingertips facing away from you.
  4. Inhale and reach your left arm up towards the ceiling.
  5. Exhale and twist your torso to the right, gently bringing your left elbow down towards the outside of your right thigh.
  6. Keep your left shoulder relaxed and look over your right shoulder.
  7. Hold for 5-10 breaths, then slowly release and repeat on the other side.

Tips for the Seated Spinal Twist

  • Keep your back straight and your spine elongated.
  • Don’t force the twist. Go only as far as you feel comfortable.
  • Focus on your breath and breathe deeply throughout the pose.
  • If you have any injuries or conditions affecting your back or hips, consult with your doctor before performing this exercise.

Variations of the Seated Spinal Twist

  • If you are a beginner, you can place a block under your right hip for support.
  • To deepen the stretch, you can use a strap to help you pull your left arm down.
  • For a more challenging twist, you can lift your right foot off the floor and place it on your left thigh.

Additional Exercises for Back Health

  • Cat-Cow pose: This pose helps to warm up the spine and improve flexibility.
  • Child’s pose: This pose is a gentle stretch for the back and hips.
  • Bridge pose: This pose strengthens the core and back muscles.
  • Superman pose: This pose strengthens the back muscles and improves posture.


The seated spinal twist is a simple yet effective exercise that can provide many benefits for your physical and mental health. By incorporating this pose into your regular routine, you can improve your flexibility, reduce back pain, and reduce stress.

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