Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist

Hi everyone,

It is very very comfortable to lie down in a spinal twist. It feels almost like massaging your entire back. But sometimes, we want to stay in a pose because it feels very comfortable. Only to feel uncomfortable later due to the same pose. The right alignment of the body during any physical activity has a big role to play in how sturdy, fit , strong and comfortable we feel in our joint and muscles, in our daily life

This alignment is what we learn at the Iyengar Institute. Sometimes I do an asana that I have been practicing from ages and have come to accept that I have perfected it. As I find myself, able to bend in that asana, as much as it was possible. But at that very movement my teacher appears with a grin and twitch a little muscular alignment here and there. Only to make me realize that I am no where close to perfecting the pose. But after her adjustments, I feel much more aligned in my body. But this alignment has a price too :P . I lose all the bending I was able to do before. My teacher says as long as you are properly aligned then it does not matter whether your shoulder touches the floor or your head touches your toes or not :| . Proper alignment means proper muscles activated and proper energy flow generated.

As a matter of fact, she says that trying to do that pulling and bending without proper alignment does more harm than any good.

So you see, Iyengar classes are super slow with very few or say no young person in their twenties attending it. Expect me :P . Not even in thirties I guess. But each class is like a tequila shot for anyone who loveesss to study human anatomy. I get to learn so much each day so that, I get excited to quickly reach home, write about it and share it with you guys ^_^.

So today we learnt about Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist

Till now, I have been trying too hard in my life to try to touch my shoulder on the floor while doing this twist. But today, my teacher asked me that what about the alignment of my knee, knees, ankles, spine etc?

“By only trying to touch your shoulders on the floor. You are doing no good to your shoulder joints, hip joints and your back, which my dear you will realize after a few years :) ”, said she.

So here goes the Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist

Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist


1. Hips stacked one over the other.

2. Knees and ankles stacked one over the other.

3. Knee and ankles at 90 degree with each other.

4. Hips and knees at 90 degree with each other.

5. The shoulder blades are drawn in and towards the hips.

……. Ohhk..So you might not get to touch your shoulder blades on the floor by trying to maintain this alignment. But who cares for touching and pulling now :D :D :) ┬áThis type of alignment insures the twist in the spine from up to down. Which is our real objective in this pose :)

And these are the numerous ways of not doing this pose.

Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist

Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist

Alignment for Side Lying Spinal Twist


Could you tell me what is the alignment problem with the 1 and 2 images above. I will help you with the third image. Hips are not stacked out. They should be in line with the upper body.

I hope this was helpful to you. Please ask if you have any questions..


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