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Ardha Matseyndrasana gets its name from four Sanskrit words, that are Ardha, Matsya, Indra and Asana which respectively mean Half, Fish, Lord or king and Pose. 

Also known as the half spinal twist pose, it is one of the twelve basic asanas in Hatha Yoga. When done regularly, it helps to strengthen the spine and stimulate the digestive system.

This article talks about the correct way to practice Ardha Matseyndrasana and also tells you about its benefits and precautions that need to be taken while practising it.

  1. Ardha Matseyndrasna (Half Lord of the Fish Pose) steps: Correct way to do Ardha Matseyndrasna
  2. Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fish Pose)
  3. Easy modifications of Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fish Pose)
  4. Precautions to take before Ardha Matsyendrasna (Half Lord of the Fish Pose)
  • Firstly, sit in the Dandasana position (legs stretched out straight in front, sit on your buttocks with an erect spine)
  • Place your hands on the ground on either side of your hips, keeping your spine erect and inhale slowly
  • Now, fold your left leg gently so that your left heel touches the right hip
  • Cross your right leg over your left leg in such a way that your right foot ends up beside your left knee
  • Twist your upper torso to the right side and place your left hand over and in parallel to your right leg
  • Touch the toe of your right foot with your left hand
  • Inhale and exhale slowly, maintaining the position for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Now get out of the pose gently, relax for a few seconds and repeat on the other side

Asanas to do before Ardha Matseyandrasana 

You can do the following asanas before practising the Ardha Matseyandrasana:

  • Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
  • Bharadvaja's twist (Bharadvajasana)
  • Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
  • Hero Pose (Virasana)

Asanas to do after Ardha Matseyandrasana 

To relax your body after the Ardha Matsyendrasana, you can do the following asanas:

Ardha Matseyndrasna can have some incredible health benefits such as:

  • It improves the flexibility of the spine.
  • It helps in relieving back pain.
  • This asana may help in the management of a slip-disc.
  • It opens your chest muscles and lungs and reduces the risk of respiratory diseases.
  • Ardha Matseyndrasna reduces stiffness and pain in buttocks.
  • It massages and stimulates the functioning of abdominal organs.
  • Regular practice of this asana stimulates blood circulation and detoxifies your organs.
  • Ardha Matseyndrasna may help manage UTI symptoms.
  • It calms the mind and reduces stress and anxiety.

If you are not able to do the Half Lord Of the Fish Pose properly, you can try some easy modifications such as:

  • Do not force your body, if you are not able to twist your body fully, just go as far as you can go. Give your body some time to ease into the asana. 
  • There are various hand variations in Ardha Matsyendrasana for beginners, you can also try those. For example, you can place your left elbow on the right knee and point your fingers upwards if you are not able to bring it all the way down to your right toe.
  • You can also place a folded blanket or block under your buttocks and then practice this asana to make it easier to get into the final pose.

The following precautions should be taken before practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana:

  • Avoid practicing this asana during preganancy and mentruation as it entails a strong twist in your abdomen.
  • If you have undergone any abdominal, brain or heart surgery you must not practice this asana.
  • Do not practice this asana if you have peptic ulcers or hernia.
  • Do not practice this asana if you have any back or spinal injuries.
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana is known to be helpful in case of a slight slip-disc. However, in complicated or serious cases it may have an opposite effect so practice this asana only under the guidance of trained personnel.
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