Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha = half ยท Matsyendra = king of the fish (matsya = fish indra = ruler), a legendary teacher of yoga.

Ardha Matsyendrasana, also known as Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, Half Spinal Twist Pose or Vakrasana .

How to do Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
  • Bend the left leg and place the heel of the left foot beside the right hip (optionally, you can keep the left leg straight).
  • Take the right leg over the left knee.
  • Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you.
  • Twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over the right shoulder.
  • Keep the spine erect.
  • Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.
  • Breathing out, release the right hand first (the hand behind you), release the waist, then chest, lastly the neck and sit up relaxed yet straight.
  • Repeat to the other side.
  • Breathing out, come back to the front and relax.

Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • Useful for diabetics, by acting on the pancreas and regulating insulin.
  • Regulates the secretion of bile and adrenaline.
  • Helps in removing negative thoughts and emotions.
  • It increases the circulation of blood, purifies the blood, and detoxifies the internal organs.
  • This asana also helps to cure urinary tract infections.
  • This asana is also beneficial for menstrual disorders.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Contraindications of Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • This asana must be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation.
  • People who have recently undergone abdominal, heart or brain surgeries, should not practice this asana.

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