Seated Spine Twists Versus Standing Spine Twists


Seated spine twists

  • Cooling, calming and restorative

  • Balances the nervous system by activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System response of ‘rest and digest’. This also activates SLUDD (salivation, lacrimation, urination, digestion, defecation)

  • Rather than actively squeezing, the muscles somewhat relax to slowly release tension and toxins

  • Spinal column muscles, discs and tissues are lengthened and released gently

  • Best suited towards the end of a class to neutralise any intense backbends or forward bends

  • The spine lengthens and moves upwards


Standing spine twists

  • Engages the core more than seated twists

  • Bandhas on - core activated - to protect the spine (especially in revolved triangle)

  • Builds heat in the body

  • Increases agni for physical and emotional digestion

  • Activates the Sympathetic Nervous System response of ‘fight and flight’, but teaches the student to remain in the challenging posture and therefore reshape their perception of stressful situations

  • Actively squeezes out the tension and toxins

  • Part of the standing series

  • The spine lengthens and flexes forward (e.g. revolved triangle)


Both seated and standing twists aid digestion and reproduction by stimulating the lower abdominal organs; improve or maintain mobility of the spine; squeezing out waste; stimulating fresh blood delivery to the lower abdominal organs; increase circulation; decrease tension. In both seated and standing twists it is important to ground before twisting and engage the core muscles in order to stabilise the pelvis and support the lumbar spine.


By Alyssa McLeod



Yoga poses - Revolved Triangle Pose. 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 06 October 2016].

Yoga twists, the ins and outs – Ekhart Yoga. 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 06 October 2016].