Sitting pose, Yoga pose

Ardhamatsendr Asana (Half Spinal Twist)

February 8, 2016
Ardha Matsyendrāsana

Let me start with introducing the English meaning of Ardhamatsendr Asana. I know, it sounds so heavy when you pronounce it. Sometimes, these tough Sanskrit words are more intimidating than the original asana. Jokes apart. Here is how we break this word.

Ardha = Half.

Matsey = King of the fish matsya.

Indra = Ruler.

When I first started doing Yoga, I was comfortable with various asanas. I could have stayed in Naukasana for one minute (oh yes, after some weeks of practice) or could do backward bend easily in Camel Pose.

However, this simple asana was a challenge for me. I was not able to touch my foot while performing the asana.

I used to always wonder why!!! However, one day I realized that I was able to twist perfectly and hold my foot. I don’t know how it happened. All I can say, it is because of the daily practice.

This is why I believe that small steps daily are more powerful than irregular long practice hours.

Introduction of Ardhamatsendr Asana or Half Spinal Twist

Ardhamatsendr Asana or Half Spinal Twist comes into the category of Sitting Yoga Pose.

Most importantly known for its benefit for the spine. The entire length of the spine is twisted in both directions – first to the left and then to the right.

How to perform Ardhamatsendr Asana or Half Spinal Twist

Ardhamatsendr Asana (Half Spinal Twist)

Ardhamatsendr Asana (Half Spinal Twist)

  • Sit up with the legs stretched out and spine erect. Keep your feet together, big toes touching each other.
  • Now bend the left leg and place the heel of the left foot beside the right hip.
  • Now bring the right leg over the left so that the foot is on the left side of the left leg with the foot as close in to the body as is comfortable.
  • The closer the foot to the body, the more difficult this posture becomes.
  • Now bring your left hand behind you. You can either rest it on mat or can let it touch your back.
  • Now, twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over the right shoulder.
  • Bring your right hand over the right leg and try to hold the right foot.

    Ardhamatsendr Asana (Half Spinal Twist)

    Ardhamatsendr Asana (Half Spinal Twist)

  • Keep your spine erect.
  • Try to hold the position for 5 breaths.
  • Repeat the same steps with the other side.
  • Now breathing out, come back to the original position.

Benefits of the Sitting Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

  • One of the best asanas for spine.
  • It makes the spine more flexibile.
  • It helps to cure the nervous disorder.
  • It massages your abdominal organ. It is one of the asanas recommended for constipation.
  • It stretches back muscles and the spine.

Precautions to follow while practicing Sitting Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

  • Pregnant women should avoid this practice.
  • Also, people suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia and hyper thyroids should practice this pose under strict expert guidance

You can try for the variations of this asana. Till then Happy Practicing.

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