Restorative Yoga Poses : Gentle Open Twist

Gentle Open Twist

Twist • 3 to 5 minutes per side

Restorative Yoga Poses : Gentle Open Twist


2 long eighth-fold blankets

Square eighth-fold blanket


  • If spinal rotation is contraindicated for you, in the case of spinal injury or pregnancy, skip this pose.


  • Supports and maintains your spine in healthy, normal rotation.
  • Gently stretches your chest, shoulders, and outer hip.
  • Gently decompresses your spine.
  • Helps relieve lower back and hip pain associated with tight spinal extensors, excessive periods of sitting, standing, or walking.


  1. . Stack the 2 long eighth-fold blankets across the top third of your mat.
  2. . Sit with your right hip touching the bottom long edge of the blankets with your knees bent and feet tucked in behind you.
  1. . Place the square eighth-fold blanket between your knees for comfort.
  2. . Slide your right hand away from your right hip to bring your right side onto the stacked blankets, coming into aSimple Supported Side Bend. Use your right arm as a pillow.
  1. . When you’re ready, keep your hips and legs as they are and gently roll your left shoulder back turning your chest toward the sky. Take your arms out wide to support the spacious feeling in your chest.
  1. . Remain in Gentle Open Twist for 3 to 5 minutes. To exit, return to

Simple Supported Side Bend, then press your left hand down to come up to a sitting position. Leave your props as they are and turn your body around to sitting on your left hip to repeat the pose on the other side.


Although it’s most likely just an energetic association and not a physical benefit, many people find that twists feel replenishing. Imagine each exhale releasing tightness and pain, and each inhale inviting in healing and rejuvenation.


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