5 Twist Yoga Poses and Exercises to Improve Your Posture

Twist yoga poses improve posture and balance. (Photo via Pexels/RF._.studio)
Twist yoga poses improve posture and balance. (Photo via Pexels/RF._.studio)

Want to improve your overall body posture? Consider adding a few twist yoga poses to your fitness routine to see great improvements.

Having a well-defined posture makes you look good and amps up your personality. It makes your body more flexible and balanced and also helps build strength, making your everyday activities and movements much easier and more convenient.

Poor posture, meanwhile, can lead to muscle imbalance and stress and in some cases even contribute to back pain and sciatica. Fortunately, there are certain poses, particularly twist yoga poses, that can work wonders for your posture and prevent pain and injuries while giving you a more pleasing look.

A twist is a staple in almost all yoga practices and largely involves the rotation of your torso. It gently stretches and rotates the back and promotes spine health while keeping the disks plump and strong. For people sensitive to twists, the following poses don’t require intense rotation, but if you have back pain or any other issue, it's best to first consult a doctor or a physical therapist.


Twist yoga poses to improve posture

The following five twist yoga poses are suitable for all levels of yoga practitioners. However, if you're a beginner, do them cautiously under the guidance of an instructor. Let's get started:

1) Revolved chair pose (Parivrtta Uttakatasana)

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A great exercise to strengthen the legs and spine, this twist yoga pose improves posture and helps boost flexibility as well.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start in the chair pose with both knees together. Shift your weight onto your heels, and move your hands at the center of your chest in a prayer position.
  • As you inhale, lengthen your spine. As you exhale, slowly hinge forward at your waist, and gently twist to your left while keeping your right elbow out.
  • Keep your knees together, and press your palms to lower your butts a bit more.
  • Hold the posture for a few counts, and release. Return to the chair pose, and repeat the entire exercise on the other side.

2) Half lord of the fishes pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

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This yoga pose is a gentle seated spinal twist that strengthens the upper back and neck and also helps boost posture. It gently stretches the side of the body and keeps the muscles loose to prevent injuries and strains.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start in the staff pose with your legs outstretched in the front.
  • Lift your left leg, and place your foot on the outside of your right knee. Slightly bend your right leg, and place your right foot on the outside of your left hip.
  • Firmly press your sitting bones on the floor; lengthen your spine, and move your left arm behind you while extending your right arm up.
  • Slowly twist your body to the left; hug your knee using your right arm, and hook your elbow just behind your right knee.
  • Stay in the posture for a few breaths, and come out of the pose as you exhale.
  • Move back to the staff pose, and switch sides to repeat.

3) Revolved triangle pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)

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The revolved triangle pose is another very effective twist yoga pose that promotes good posture, stretches the hamstrings, opens the heart, and enhances body balance.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start in a standing position with your legs straight and 2-3 feet apart. Move your right foot forward and left foot back turned at 45 degrees.
  • Place your hands on your hips, and slowly hinge your upper body forward over your right leg while keeping your spine straight.
  • Position your left hand under your right shoulder, or simply place it inside your right foot. Breathe easily, and place your right hand on your sacrum while opening your chest to the right.
  • Lift your right hand towards the ceiling, and stack your right shoulder over your left. Hold the position and take a few deep breaths. Switch sides to repeat the pose.

4) Easy pose (Revolved Sukhasana)

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This is another simple and gentle seated twist pose that works wonders for your posture. It helps stretch the knees, ankles, and hips, and boosts flexibility throughout the chest, spine, and shoulders.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Start in a comfortable seated position. Cross your legs in front of you, and keep your knees wide.
  • Use your left arm to hold your right leg, and place your right hand on the floor just behind you.
  • Press your right palm on the floor; maintain a tall spine, and start to twist on your right.
  • Twist gently, and hold the posture for a few breaths.
  • Come back to the center; switch your legs, and repeat the pose on the other side.

5) Supine spinal twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

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The supine spinal twist stretches the obliques, chest, abdomen, and glutes. It's a great heart-opener pose that enhances spinal flexibility, improves gut health and boosts posture too.

Step-by-step instructions:

  • Lie down on a mat with your face up, and bend your knees. Place the soles of your feet on the mat.
  • Gently press into your feet, and lift your hips off the mat as you draw your left knee towards your chest. Extend your right leg flat straight in front of you, and keep your right foot flexed.
  • Cross your left knee over your midsection on the right side of your body.
  • Extend your left arm to the left, and rest your right hand on your left knee to make a 'T' shape.
  • Slowly turn your head to the left, and keep your gaze on your shoulders.
  • Hold the position for a few seconds, and release. Switch sides, and repeat on the other side.

Takeaway

Look to hold the aforementioned yoga poses for at least 20 seconds, and increase the duration as you progress and gain strength. Do not overstretch, and always move slowly to make the most out of each pose.

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Edited by Bhargav
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