A Gentle Twisting Yoga Sequence to Just Feel Good

Revolved Lunge is a twisting yoga pose with many benefits.

Yoga twists feel so good. They help us to move into constricted positions to then feel the sweet release as we let go. They move our spines in ways that we don’t necessarily utilize in our everyday lives. And they help us to metaphorically “release.”

Twists can be gentle or intense—you often get to choose the depth of your twists. This twisting yoga sequence is meant to be a gentle, feel-good flow that will help hydrate, lubricate, and nourish the many joints along your spine.

Use This Gentle Twisting Yoga Sequence to Just Feel Good 

You don’t necessarily need any props for this sequence, but you may wish to have a yoga block or thick book to support you in some of the shapes.

1. Seated Yoga Twist: Revolved Cross-Legged Pose (Parvrtta Sukhasana)

A gentle seated yoga twist is a great way to start a twisting yoga sequence.

Kick off your twisting yoga sequence with a simple and gentle seated twist.

  1. Find a comfortable cross-legged seated position. You may wish to elevate your hips by sitting up on a block.
  2. Lengthen the crown of your head toward the sky as you simultaneously ground your sitting bones into the floor or prop beneath you.
  3. Take your right fingertips behind your right hip and place your left hand on your right knee. Allow your right hip to scoot back so your hips are not squared to the front. This protects your sacroiliac (SI) joint.
  4. As you inhale, grow even taller through your spine.
  5. As you exhale, twist your torso toward the right. 
  6. With every breath in, grow a little bit taller. 
  7. With every breath out, spin a little bit further into your twist.
  8. Allow your breath to guide the movements as you hold for a few deep breaths.
  9. Then, unwind your twist to return to the center and practice the same thing on the opposite side.

2. Thread-the-Needle Pose (Urdhva Mukha Pasasana)

Thread the Needle Pose is a shoulde-opener and a twist as a versatile pose in a twisting asana sequence.

This gentle twist also works to open and release your shoulders, so you get double the benefits in this shape!

  1. Start in a neutral Tabletop Pose (Bharmanasana) with your shoulders aligned roughly over your wrists and your hips stacked roughly over your knees.
  2. As you inhale, sweep your right arm toward the sky.
  3. As you exhale, slide your right arm underneath your left and soften your shoulder and cheek to a prop or the floor. 
  4. Melt the weight of your right shoulder downward and spin your torso toward the left.
  5. Option to stretch your left arm forward toward the top of your mat and lengthen across the left side body as you rotate further into your twist.
  6. Hold for a few deep breaths before releasing and switching sides.

3. Revolved Downward Facing Dog Pose (Parvrtta Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Revolved Down Dog Pose is a beneficial yoga pose.

Another great addition to your twisting yoga sequence, Downward Facing Dog Pose, is so often practiced in flow-style yoga classes. You can add a gentle twist to this ubiquitous pose very easily to bring some feel-good action into your Downward Facing Dog Pose.

  1. Start in your classic Downward Facing Dog Pose.
  2. Shorten your stance slightly by walking your feet about one step closer toward your hands to find a narrower stance.
  3. Shift your weight into your left hand and become light on your right hand.
  4. When you’re stable, reach for your left leg with your right hand and hold onto your thigh, shin, or ankle.
  5. Spiral your torso toward the left and turn to look under your left armpit.
  6. With every inhalation, elongate your spine, and with every exhalation, spin further toward the left.
  7. Hold for a few deep breaths, and then release back to your neutral Downward Facing Dog Pose. 
  8. Repeat on the opposite side.

4. Revolved Lunge Pose (Parvrtta Anjaneyasana)

Revolved Lunge Pose.

Lunges gently open into your hips, so adding a gentle twist can intensify the hip release while also nourishing your spinal joints.

  1. Start in Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana) with your right leg forward and your left knee grounded behind you.
  2. Plant your left hand onto a prop or the floor on the inside of your right foot.
  3. Sweep your right arm toward the sky as you spin your torso to face toward the right side of your mat.
  4. Option to stay as you are or option to float your back knee off the floor to open into a Revolved High Lunge Pose.
  5. With every breath in, elongate your spine. With every breath out, spin your chest more open toward the right side of your mat.
  6. Hold for a few deep breaths before releasing and switching sides.

5. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

A classic twist, Half Lord of the Fishes Pose gently rotates the spine while also offering some gentle stretch to the outer hips.

  1. Sit with your legs extended forward in front of you in Staff Pose (Dandasana). Option to elevate your hips by sitting up on a block.
  2. Bend your right knee and plant your foot on the floor on the outside of your left knee.
  3. Option to stay as you are or to bend your left leg and draw your heel to your outer right hip.
  4. Take your right fingertips behind your right hip and stretch your left arm toward the sky.
  5. Inhale as you lengthen your spine toward the sky.
  6. Exhale as you spiral and twist your torso toward the right, allowing your right hip to draw back.
  7. Option to hook your forearm around your right knee and gently hug it toward your body or option to cross your left elbow over your right thigh and apply gentle pressure to spiral further into your twist.
  8. With every inhalation, lengthen your spine. With every exhalation, rotate into your twist.
  9. Hold for a few deep breaths before slowly releasing and switching sides.

6. Supine Yoga Twist: Revolved Belly Pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)

A Supine Twist is a good way to finish a yoga class.

No twisting yoga sequence is complete without a gentle supine twist. This easy twist on your back allows you to surrender your weight to gravity to get all of the spinal nourishment and lubrication without much effort needed to support it.

There are so many variations of a supine twist that you can practice, but this one also introduces a gentle hip opening. If you prefer a different variation, feel free to substitute!

  1. Come to lay down on your back with your knees bent and your feet as wide as your mat.
  2. Open your arms out wide into a T-shape, or bend your elbows and create a cactus shape.
  3. Gently release both of your knees down to the left side of your mat. Option to place props beneath your knees. Option to stack your left ankle over your right knee to anchor your leg down. 
  4. Option to turn your head to gaze over your right shoulder.
  5. Surrender your weight downward and let gravity do the work for you as you soften into your twist. 
  6. Hold for a few deep breaths before slowly releasing and switching sides.

Just Feel Good With This Twisting Yoga Sequence

This practice is super gentle, and meant to simply offer you some basic twists so that you walk away from your mat just feeling good. Give it a try, and pay special attention to how your back feels before, during, and after your practice. Enjoy!

Leah Sugerman, E-RYT 500, YACEP, yoga writer

Leah Sugerman is a yoga teacher, writer, and passionate world traveler. An eternally grateful student, she has trained in countless schools and traditions of the practice. She teaches a fusion of the styles she has studied with a strong emphasis on breath, alignment, and anatomical integrity. Leah teaches workshops, retreats, and trainings, both internationally and online. For more information, visit www.leahsugerman.com.

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