POPSUGAR Celebrity

Feel-Good Yoga Twists to Ease Your Aching Back

Mar 22 2014 - 1:28am

If twists are one of your favorite yoga poses, here are 12 twisting variations to make your back feel sensational. They relieve tightness that causes pain, but they also help to elongate the spine, which means better posture and improved breathing. And the benefits don't end there — spinal twist poses also help you digest a big dinner and aid in, ahem, moving things along [1]. From standing to seated postures, these 12 twists will have you twisting and shouting for joy.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [2]

Open Rotated Warrior 1

Adding a twist while in Warrior 1 [3] will effectively target the chest and shoulders.

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [4]

Open Revolved Extended Side Angle

Lunges are wonderful for opening tight hips, which can relieve tension in the lower back, and if you add a twist [5], you'll really feel this in your lower back, abs, and chest.

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [6]

Revolved Side Angle With Prayer Hands

Revolved Side Angle With Prayer Hands [7] is great for stretching the sides of your torso and will also open your shoulders and chest. For a deeper variation, try Bound Revolved Side Angle [8].

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [9]

Rotated Triangle

Don't be fooled — the Rotated Triangle pose [10] is not as easy to master as the basic Triangle [11], but the spine-stretching results you get from holding this version are well worth it. This is also a great pose for stretching hamstrings!

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [12]

Twisting Goddess

Try the Twisting Goddess [13] to increase flexibility in your shoulders as well as to tone your quads, glutes, and core.

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Yoga Vermont [14]

Wide-Legged Forward Bend Twist

Adding a twist to a Wide-Legged Forward Bend [15] allows you to open one shoulder at a time.

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [16]

Half Bound Wide Squat

This low squat variation [17] offers not only a great twist, but also a deep shoulder stretch.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [18]

Revolved Pigeon

This relaxing Pigeon variation [19] increases side-to-side flexibility in the lower and upper back. For an even deeper stretch, rest your shoulder and ear on the floor [20].

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [21]

Pigeon Twist

If you love the hip-opening Pigeon pose [22] for relieving pelvic tension, you'll also appreciate this Pigeon Twist [23] variation.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [24]

Seated Spinal Twist

This Seated Spinal Twist [25] is one of the most basic yoga twists, perfect for loosening your back and relieving stress.

Source: Louisa Larson Photography [26]

Kneeling Twist

Use the floor to get an even deeper stretch with this Kneeling Twist [27]. The harder you press into your bottom hand, the more you'll feel this in your lower back.

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [28]

Eagle Twist

A calming twist you can do on your mat or even in your bed, this twist involves placing your legs in Eagle position [29]. But if that's too intense, just stack you knees on top of each other.

Photo: Jenny Sugar at Laughing River Yoga Studio [30]

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