Yoga Spinal Twists

Lower Back Exercise – Yoga Spinal Twists

Yoga for Lower Back and Spine

Lower Back Stretches

Veteran yogis know that as soon as we start to mention lower back exercises or spinal workouts, we are entering the domain of kundalini shakti.  This is because kundalini energy resides as pure potential at the base of the spine, and exercises which target this lower back region, inevitably tend to stimulate this latent energy, often causing her to stir and awaken.  Kundalini Yoga Spinal Twists is no different.

In fact, much of the design of this exercise is to stimulate kundalini at the base of the spine, so along with helping you stretch your lower back, this exercise will also help you with realizing your full human potential.  As I have mentioned before, doing spinal warm-ups is very key before doing any yoga sets, as this not only helps prevent injuries, but also helps to prepare the spine for the conduction of energy throughout the important regions of the body.  The Spinal Warm-up Series is the best set to get your entire back ready for more vigorous yoga, and Yoga Spinal Twists demonstrated here in this article, can be used to substitute for the spinal twists which are given with the Spinal Warm-up Series.  Using this variation of Spinal Twists can help you add variety to your workout and also, this version has some different benefits than the original as well.

Yoga Spinal Twists

Some of the important aspects of Yoga Spinal Twists are the hand position and the breathing that accompanies this exercise, so be sure to pay special attention to these two parts.  This exercise will be part of the following 2 free online e-books here on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga: Free Hatha Yoga Poses and Online Kundalini Yoga Exercises, where you will find a large collection of other yoga poses and exercises, fully illustrated and detailed.


Please also follow the guidelines on how to practice yoga, which I have detailed in the following 2 articles, Beginner’s Guide to Yoga Practice and Guidelines for Kundalini Yoga Practice.


Yoga Spinal Twists for Stretching Lower Back


Illustration #1 Starting Position for Yoga Spinal Twists


Illustration #2 Lower Back Stretch Left


Illustration #3 Lower Back Stretch Right

lower back exercise

Yoga Spinal Twists for Stretching Lower Back:

a. Instructions for Yoga Spinal Twists: 

  • Sit in easy pose (legs crossed).  You can see I am using a cushion in the illustrations above and sitting in Burmese Style (one leg in front of the other).
  • Extend both arms behind you, interlace your fingers and pull your hands away from your lower back, as I have demonstrated in illustration #1.
  • Close you eyes and concentrate on the base of your spine.
  • Inhale through the nose as you twist to the left.  Then exhale through the nose as you twist right.
  • Start slowly and allow the back muscles to get limber and warmed up before picking up your pace.
  • Continue at a smooth, steady pace for the duration of the exercise.

b. Duration for Yoga Spinal Twists: 1-5 mins

c. Benefits of Yoga Spinal Twists:  

  • Excellent for stretching your lumbar spine and lower back region.
  • Strengthens your lower back muscles.
  • Stimulates Kundalini Shakti (Energy) at the base of the spine.
  • Stretches your shoulder and arms.
  • Improves your respiratory system.
  • Helps balance your energies and creates internal harmony.
  • Good for your digestive system.

d. Practice Tips for Yoga Spinal Twists:

  • Take a break in between in you start to feel dizzy or tired, then start again once ready.
  • Great exercise to use in the beginning of any set to stretch and warm-up the lower back and spine.
  • If you have back problems, twist slowly and don’t over strain.  As your back heals you can pick up the intensity.

Another great exercise that I would like to mention for helping to stretch your lower back and spine is Cobra Pose for Healthy Back.

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