Supta Nitambasana Supine Hip Stretch Pose

With Helen Mikuska, SOYA lead trainer in Calgary, Alberta

Do you feel unstable when you practice lateral flexion in a standing position?  Do you have shoulder issues that are irritated when you reach your arms overhead in Nitambasana?  If so, try this supported supine variation.  It is also lots of fun to do too.

Required Props: Blanket.

Benefits: This variation of Supta Nitambasana strengthens the lower back and oblique muscles while stretching the opposite hip and waist, increasing low back flexibility. 

Asana Instruction:  This asana needs to be completed on the floor (NO yoga mat or carpet).   Open a blanket and place it to the floor.  Lie down on your back in the center of blanket (supine) as you would in Corpse Pose, with legs a little wider than hip-width.  Rest arms slightly away from hips with palms facing downward. 

Inhale, then exhale and move legs and torso toward the right of you, decreasing the distance between the right rib cage and right hip.  You are using the blanket underneath you so that you glide easily on the floor to the right side of you.  Hold this lateral flexion for a few more breaths.  When finished, slowly return the legs and truck back to the midline. 

Repeat on the other side. Repeat twice more on each side.  When completed, rest in Corpse Pose for a few breaths.

Variation:  To perform dynamically, laterally flex to the right on the exhale, inhale to center, laterally flex to the left on the exhale and inhale to center, repeating as many times as you like.

Contraindications: Hyperextended neck, place another folded blanket under your head.

Helen brings over 40 years of experience in the fitness industry to her students, with a background in Pilates, Ayurveda and Food Nutrition Management. Her yoga journey began through the SOYA training with Mugs McConnell and Dariel Vogel, with whom she completed her 500 hour yoga teacher training in 2004. Her passion lies in the rich traditions of the path, which inspire her classical approach to her Hatha yoga offerings. A devotee of Bhakti yoga, Helen delights in kirtan and mantra, having studied mantra with her late guru Namadeva Acharya.

Helen has studied extensively the ancient teachings of Wholistic and Ayurvedic Yoga through Dr. David Frawley. Other teachers on Helen’s path have included Aadil Palkhivala, Brad Waites, Gina Hager, Jennifer Weinert, Leslie Kaminoff, Dharma Mittra, Nischala Joy Devi and Susi Hately.


Helen is the founder and owner of Harmony Yoga and Pilates Studio in Calgary, where she is a Lead Trainer for the SOYA 200 hour Immersion YTT program.