Ardha Matsyendrasana (pronounced ar-DHUH mutts-YEN-drah-suh-nuh),
also known as the Half Lord of The Fish pose, Half Spinal Twist Pose, is derived
from the Sanskrit terms ardha (half), matsya (fish), indra (King or Lord).
Ardha Matsyendrasana is one of the best twisting postures. The entire spine gets
rotated around its axis. Moreover, your spine also gets two side twists throughout
its length. The levers used for these extreme twists are the arms and the knees.
Steps to perform Ardha Matsyendrasana:
Sit with an extended spine and your legs extended out in front.
Bend your right knee and cross your foot over your left thigh.
Bend your left knee and bring your left heel to your outer right hip.
Keep your right foot on the inside of your left knee if your right foot lifts off the floor.
Place your right fingertips on the floor next to your right hip, and inhale as you
elongate your spine.
Hold the extension and exhale as you twist towards the right, rotating from your
back left ribs. Use the twisting action itself to go deeper; avoid hooking your elbow
right away and using the arm for leverage. Instead, wrap your left arm lightly
around your knee while lengthening with each inhale. Exhale to twist more.
Bring your elbow outside your knee. Allow your arms to maintain the length
of your spine, despite the urge to collapse due to the pressure of the elbow against
your knee. You can turn your head to the right if that feels comfortable.
Health Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana:
Increases the elasticity of the spine, tones the spinal nerves and improves the functioning
of the spinal cord.
Stretches the muscles on one side of the body whilst compressing the muscles on the other side.
Relieves back pain and stiffness from between the vertebrae.
Useful for slipped disc.
Massages the abdominal organs and increases the digestive juices making it useful for loss of
appetite and constipation.
Useful for diabetics, with concentration on the pancreas.
Regulates the secretion of bile and adrenaline.
Relieves tension that may have built up in the back from forward and back bending asanas.
Opens the chest and increases the oxygen supply to the lungs.
Loosens the hip joints, relieving stiffness.
Releases tension in the arms, shoulders, upper back and neck.
Increases purification of the blood as well as the internal organs.
Improves round shoulders.