Ardha = half · 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 .
- 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 heal 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 regulate 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.