Ardha matsyandrasana is a yoga pose where ‘ardha’ means half, ‘matseyandra’ means ‘king of the fish’ where ‘matsya’ means ‘fish’ and ‘indra’ means ‘ruler’. It is also known as sitting half spinal twist.
Ardha Matsyendrasana, literally translated is the Half Lord of the Fishes Pose; Sanskrit word ardha means half, matsya is fish and eendra means king. But there was also a great yogi by the name of Matsyendranath. By virtue of the way this pose twists the spine, it is also called the Half Spinal Twist Pose or Vakrasana, with vakra meaning twisted.
The pose has many variations depending on the flexibility of the practitioner and is one of the 12 basic poses of Hatha Yoga and focuses on the upper back. It gently twists the spine from its base to the very top and, thus tones the spinal nerves and ligaments. Since the abdominal cavity is also exercised, it improves digestive fire and is especially therapeutic for asthma and infertility.
Ardha Matsyandrasana -Half Lord of the Fishes Pose steps and technique
1. Sit in Vajrasana position or sit straight with stretching your legs in front of you.
2. Bend your left leg and try touching your feet to your right bottom as shown in the image.
3. Bring your right leg outside of your left knee. Touch your feet to the ground. Keep your spine erect.
4. Exhale and turn your upper body to the right. Hold your right feet with your left hand and place your right hand behind you on the ground as shown in the image.
5. Breath normally and hold this posture for 20-30 seconds. After practising you can hold this posture for 3-5 minutes.
6. Now release this posture and repeat this cycle by bending the right leg and bringing left leg outside of the right knee (twisting in the opposite direction).
Ardha Matsyandrasana for Anxiety
This pose not only rejuvenates the entire body and mind but also brings soothing relaxation to one’s mind. It brings fresh oxygen to the mind and increases the capacity of the brain. It enhances blood circulation in the whole body and relieves one from stress and anxiety.
Ardha Matsyandrasana – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose during Pregnancy
This asana i.e., Ardha Matsyandrasana should be avoided during pregnancy. It is quite heavy to perform for pregnant ladies, thus it is being asked to be avoided during pregnancy. Pregnant woman cannot do the half spinal twist with ease; therefore this asana is not for the pregnant lady.
Ardha Matsyandrasana – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose Side Effects
1. It should be avoided during pregnancy and menstruation due to the strong twist in the abdomen.
2. Those that have gone through heart, abdominal or brain surgeries should not do this exercise.
3. Those who are suffering from peptic ulcer or hernia should also avoid this asana.
4. People suffering from severe spinal problems should avoid this asana.
Ardha Matsyandrasana -Half Lord of the Fishes Pose for eyes
This asana is very good for getting a clear vision. This asana enhances the blood circulation in the eye region and thus provides fresh oxygen to the whole face. This massages the eyes in the most proper manner. This enables a more, clear vision. There is more clarity in your seeing things around.
Caution: Do not perform if you have spinal strain or injury.
Here’s a step by step guide to perform this pose:
- Sit on the floor and straighten your legs, back straight.
- Bend knees and put feet on the floor.
- Slide left foot under right leg, trying to get the heel on the outside your right hip.
- Swing the right foot over the left leg and place it on the floor outside your left knee.
- At this point, the right knee should point straight up at the ceiling.
- Exhale and twist gently to the right, stretching slowly.
- Place the right hand against the floor, palm down, behind your right buttock.
- Place your left on the outside of your right thigh, position the elbow by the right knee in Ashirvad mudra.
- Stay in this pose for 30 seconds to a minute and release with an exhalation.
- Repeat to the left.