What is Ardha Matsyendrasana?
In Ardha Matsyendrasana: ‘Ardha’ stands for “half”, ‘Matsya’ stands for ‘fish’ and ‘Indra’ stands for “ruler”. This pose is also sometimes referred to as the half spinal twist.
It is one of the body twisting poses in yoga. These poses help in increasing flexibility in the body and help one overcome the lethargic state.
Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana:
Some of the major benefits observed from practicing the asana include:
- This pose is extremely beneficial for the spine. It helps in strengthening and elongating the spine making your posture better
- It opens up your neck, shoulders, and hips
- It has been proven to be helpful in reducing digestion problems and improvement of overall metabolism
- It helps in reducing belly and thigh fat
- It enhances the functions of organs such as liver and kidneys
- It also helps in reducing backache and helps in relieving menstrual discomfort for women
Who can practice this asana?
This yoga pose should be avoided during pregnancy as it involves twisting of the abdomen and can be risky. This pose should also be avoided by people with heart and blood pressure problems.
Things to take care of:
Menstruating women should refrain from performing this asana for a long duration. If anyone has a spine injury, they should proceed with caution or perform the asana under supervision.
Step wise Guide: How to do Ardha Matsyendrasana
Step 1: Place your yoga mat on the floor and sit with your legs and spine straight forming a 90-degree angle
Step 2:First, bend you left leg and bring your left foot beside the right hip making sure your heel of the foot touches the hip
Step 3:Now carefully lift your right leg over the left knee and place it beside the knee
Step 4: Take a deep breath and raise your arms, carefully place your left arm on the left knee and aim to touch your right ankle. If you are comfortable, go a step further and hold the right ankle completely.
Step 5: Now carefully twist your back and spine to the right and keep your right hand on the back of your hip.
Step 6: Hold the position and concentrate on your breath. Breath normally. Beginners can aim to hold the pose for 10 seconds and once you are comfortable you can extend the time to longer duration.
Step 7: Release gradually, first your arm then your legs one by one, and come back to the starting position. Do not try to release the position in haste as it might result in injuries or cramps
Step 8: Once you are back to the starting position, practice the same with the opposite leg.
To experience maximum benefits, perform 8-10 repetitions of the yoga pose. Forming a correct posture is extremely important to result in health benefits.
When you are practicing any asana in yoga, listen to your body. If you are a beginner, take it slowly as it takes some time to build flexibility and strength. Keep pushing yourself day by day to perfect the yoga postures.