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 .
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.