SPINAL TWIST POSE — ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA

One of the most basic and yet powerful poses in yoga, the simple seated spinal twist. “Ardha” means half, and “matsya” means fish, and “Indra” means lord or King. The pose was named after the great yogi Matsyendranath. Spinal twists keep the spine healthy, and also massage the internal organs and abdomen. Twisting helps us release toxins, and twists are especially beneficial during the change of seasons. No matter what the season, twist into Ardha Matsyendrasana and release your limitations.

ASANA GUIDE

SPINAL TWIST POSE — ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA

SANSKRIT

Ardha Matsyendrasana
अर्धमत्स्येन्द्रासन

PRONUNCIATION

Ardha Matsyendrasana
अर्धमत्स्येन्द्रासन

TRANSLATION

Half (Ardha) Fish (Matsya) Lord (Yendra)
(Half) Spinal Twist Pose / Lord of the Fish Pose.

POSE TYPE

Seated pose

POSE CATEGORY

Seated pose

ORIGIN

Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Gheranda Samhita

PERFORMANCE

STARTING

Sitting with the spine straight, the left leg is folded and placed flat on the floor. The left knee is pointing forward, and the left heel is placed directly next to the right buttock. The right leg is folded, and the right foot is placed on the left side of the left knee.

ENTERING

Twist the entire torso and spine toward the right side. Place the left elbow directly next to the right knee. The arm is kept straight so that the left hand can catch hold of the right foot or ankle.
The right arm is wrapped around the torso, with the hand placed in the area of the waist. Initially use the breath to improve the posture: Straighten and lengthen the spine while inhaling, twist further while exhaling, repeat 2-3 times.
Finally twist the head as much as possible to the right side.

FINAL

Not Applicable

VARIATION

None.

RELEASING

Carefully release the position of the arms and the twist of the spine. Lastly, move the legs into a neutral sitting posture.

EFFECTS

PHYSIOLOGICAL

– Stretches the shoulders, hips, and neck.
– Tones the nerves of the spine, and makes the back muscles supple.
– Massages the abdominal organs.
– Stimulates the liver and kidneys.
– Regulates the secretion of adrenaline, bile, and insulin.

ENERGETIC

– Activates the Throat Chakra. [CHECK LINK]
– Energizes the spine.
– Unifies the subtle breaths of Prana and Apana Vayu in Sushumna Nadi.
– Kundalini Shakti can be activated in advanced stages of the practice.
– Stabilizes Soma Chakra.

PSYCHOLOGICAL

– Refines the mind.
– Reduces fatigue.

OTHER ASANAS

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