Tutorial: 9 Spinal Twists for Beginner to Advanced Yogis

Morgan Casavant
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Yoga twists are so fun to practice, and they’re really good for you too. As you practice your spinal twists, you’re nourishing the health and flexibility of your spine, and refreshing all of your organs.
 
This article will walk you through nine yoga poses for spinal twists from beginner to advanced. Whenever you’re in a more advanced modification of a yoga pose, remember to always listen to your body first. It will tell you if you’ve gone too far and if you need to back out.
 
Recommended Read: 10 Beginner Yoga Poses (Reminder: We’re All Humble Beginners)
 

Here Are 9 Yoga Twists For All Levels of Yogis

Enjoy these refreshing twists! Your spine and insides will thank you.
 

Beginner Yoga Twists

1. Supine Spinal Twist

supine-twist
 
Lie on your back and hug your knees toward your chest. Drop both knees to the right, with the option to place a yoga block under your knees for more comfort. Extend your arms out like a capital “T” directly in line with your shoulders.
 
Gaze in the same direction as your knees or, for more intensity, gaze in the opposite direction. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 
 

2. Half Lord of the Fishes With Extended Leg

lord-fishes-extended
 
Find a comfortable seat with both legs extended. From there, bring your right foot to the outside of your left quad, and ensure both of your hips are still rooted firmly on the mat. Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee and your right hand behind you for stability.
 
Stay mindful of your spine here. Continuously lengthen your spine by drawing the crown of your head towards the sky. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 
 

3. Revolved Low Lunge With Back Knee Down

low-lunge-twist
 
From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands and drop your back knee. Engage your core to lift your torso, stacking your shoulders over your hips. From here, bring your hands to heart center and hinge slightly forward, keeping your core engaged.
 
Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee, and continuously lengthen your spine by drawing the crown of your head forward. Work towards aligning your thumbs with the middle of your chest. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 

Intermediate Yoga Twists

1. Supine Stag Twist

supine-stag
 
Find a seat with your hands behind your hips, feet planted as wide as your mat, and your knees towards the sky. Drop both knees toward the right, and allow your left knee to line up with the arch of your right foot.
 
From here, twist your torso completely towards the right until your chest faces your mat. Drop to your forearms for support, and gaze slightly forward. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 
 

2. Half Lord of the Fishes

half-lord-fishes
 
Find a comfortable seat with both legs extended. From there, bring your right foot to the outside of your left quad. Then, bring your left foot to the outside of your right hip, and ensure both of your hips are still rooted firmly on the mat.
 
Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee and your right hand behind you for stability. Stay mindful of your spine here. Continuously lengthen your spine by drawing the crown of your head towards the sky. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 

 

3. Revolved Low Lunge With Back Knee Lifted

Crescent-twist
 
From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands and, this time, keep your back knee lifted. Stack your front knee over your front ankle and engage the muscles in your back leg. Engage your core to lift your torso, stacking your shoulders over your hips.
 
From here, bring your hands to heart center and hinge slightly forward, keeping your core engaged. Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee, and continuously lengthen your spine by drawing the crown of your head forward. Work towards aligning your thumbs with the middle of your chest. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 

Advanced Yoga Twists

1. Supine Pigeon With Quad Stretch

pigeon-twist
 
Find Pigeon Pose with your right knee forward. Ensure your hips are squared off and you’re not leaning to one side or the other. As you begin to fold your torso towards the mat, twist to bring your left shoulder down with your arm extended long. Take your gaze towards your left hand.
 
Then, bend your back leg to bring your heel towards your glute. Reach back for your toes with your right fingers and gently pull your foot towards your body. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 
 

2. Half Lord of the Fishes With Bind

lord-fishes-bind
 
Find a comfortable seat with both legs extended. From there, bring your right foot to the outside of your left quad. Then, bring your left foot to the outside of your right hip, and ensure both of your hips are still rooted firmly on the mat.
 
Bring your left elbow to the outside of your right knee and your wrap your right hand behind your back. Reach your left fingers under your right knee, and try to grasp fingertips behind you. Stay mindful of your spine here. Continuously lengthen your spine by drawing the crown of your head towards the sky. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 
 

3. Revolved High Crescent Lunge

waterwheel
 
From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot between your hands and keep your back knee lifted. Stack your front knee over your front ankle and engage the muscles in your back leg. Engage your core to lift your torso, stacking your shoulders over your hips and lifting your arms towards the sky.
 
From here, open your arms out to either side like a capital “T.” Keep your core engaged as you twist your body towards your front knee. Be mindful to keep the muscles in your legs and core engaged to protect your spine here. Hold for 5-7 breaths on each side.
 

Enjoy Your Yoga Twisting!

I don’t know about you, but I love a good yoga twist. They make me feel refreshed, healthy, and ready to take on whatever is being thrown my way. I find that they’re equally relaxing and challenging for my body.
 
I hope you enjoy working through these twist modifications and that you feel great afterward! Namaste.
 

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Morgan Casavant

Morgan is a graphic designer and yoga instructor committed to inspiring compassion, balance, and centeredness - on and off the mat. She loves minimalism, the zero waste movement, and all the things working to protect the environment.

morgancasavant.co

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