Yoga Poses

Shava Udarakarshanasana {Universal Spinal Twist} – Best For Stretching Side Back Muscles


Shava Udarakarshanasana – Universal Spinal Twist Pose

Shava Udarakarshanasana, also known as Universal Spinal Twist, is one of the spine twisting Yoga poses. This Yoga Asana is a part of the digestive and abdominal group of asanas. This asana stretches side back muscles and is good for people suffering from indigestion, constipation, excess wind or gas, diabetes, and lower back pain. This Yogasana removes energy blockages from the back and abdominal areas.

Shava Udarakarshanasana Steps

  • Spread a Yoga mat on a flat ground and lie flat on back with the legs together and straight.
  • In the starting position, the arms should be by the sides, palms facing down and head, neck, and spine should be in a straight line.
  • Stretch the arms to the sides at the level of the shoulders, keeping the palms down.
  • Bend the right leg and place the sole of the foot beside the left kneecap.
  • Place the left hand on top of the right knee.
  • Exhale and bring down the right knee towards the floor on the left side of the body without straining.
  • Keep the right leg bent and the right sole in touch with the left knee.
  • Right arm and shoulder should remain in contact with the floor.
  • Turn the head in the right direction and fix the gaze at the middle finger of the right hand.

Universal Spinal Twist by Yasmeen

  • Hold the final position for 10 seconds or as long as is comfortable.
  • Keep the breath normal if the final position is held for a longer period of time.
  • Become aware of the stretch in the side back muscles and the pressure developed in the abdomen.
  • Inhale and return back to the starting position by bringing the knee and head to the center.
  • Stretch back the left arm to the side and straighten the right leg.
  • Repeat the whole practice on the opposite side.

Universal Spine Twist by Yasmeen

  • Relax in Savasana after practicing on both the sides.

Shava Udarakarshanasana Precautions

  • While bringing down the knee towards the floor, avoid straining and stretching the body beyond its limits.
  • Avoid practicing this Shava Udarakarshanasana if having an injury in hip joint as it may increase the complications.

Shava Udarakarshanasana Benefits

  • Tiredness and tightness in the lower back zone are relieved by the practice of this asana.
  • It is very good for the back pain, particularly the side back muscles pain, that may come through continuous sitting on a chair or while driving.
  • Shava Udarakarshanasana helps remove the excess fats from the waist area.
  • Universal Spinal Twist asana tones and massages the pelvic and abdominal organs.
  • The asana improves the digestion by massaging digestive organs.
  • This spinal twist yoga pose removes congestion of lower spine and improves the flexibility of the spine in particular and body in general.

Shava Udarakarshanasana (universal spinal twist) Sequence

  • Shava Udarakarshanasan should follow forward and backward bending asanas or those asanas which cause strain on lower back.
  • The asana can also be best done after having done meditation or after having worked on the chair for a long period of time.

For stretching of side back muscles, you can also practice Supt Udarakarshanasana –

Supta Udarakarshanasana (Sleeping Abdominal stretch Pose) – Yoga For Lower Back Pain

About the author

Mahendra Kumar Vyas

Mahendra Vyas, with parental home at Jodhpur and born to Late Shri Goverdhan Lal Vyas and Shrimati Sharda Vyas, did Civil Engineering from M.B.M.Engineering College, Jodhpur. Shifted to Mumbai after completing engineering and worked with Sanjay Narang's Mars Group and Aditya Birla Group. With an inclination to spirituality and service, joined the Yoga stream and became a part of Yoga Niketan, Goregaon (west) in 2002 and since then practicing and imparting Yoga knowledge at Yoga Niketan and different corporates.

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