Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-matsyendrasana)
Sanskrit word “Ardha’ means half. “Matsyendra” is one of many Siddhas or masters who where accomplished Yogis mentioned in the medieval Yoga text the Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika. This asana is known as Spinal Twist because the spinal column is twisted gently.
Benefits of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-matsyendrasana):
The Ardha-matsyendrasana helps in cultivating flexibility and strength in the spine. It also smoothes stiff necks and upper back and tension caused by stress, poor posture, or prolonged periods of sitting in one position.
The alternating compression and release of the abdominal region flushes this area with blood and give massage the internal organs. Muscles of the stomach and hips are also toned from repeated practice of this asana.
How to perform the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-matsyendrasana):
- Sit comfortable in a cross-legged position.
- Straighten both legs out in front. While bending your right knee, bring the heel of the right foot close to the left hip.
- While breathing-in bend the left knee upward and place the left foot flat on the floor to the right of the right leg with ankle touching the right thigh.
- While turning the spine to the left straighten your right arm and bring it around to the left knee and grasp the left foot.
- Turn your head as far as possible to the left and bend the left arm behind your back. Keep your spine, neck and head aligned and continue to exert effort at turning to the left.
- Repeat the same posture to the other side.
Durations/Repetitions of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-matsyendrasana)
This asana can be held for as long as you are comfortable. Repeat 2-3 times both sides.
Difficulty Level and Advancement of the Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha-matsyendrasana):
Ardha-matsyendrasana is a difficulty level 4 asana recommended for intermediate yoga practitioner.