• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist) Yoga : How To Do It, Benefits & Precautions

Yoga as a form of gentle exercise that helps you to calm both your body and mind. It has achieved such a high status among people of all walks of life around the world largely due to the soothing benefits that it provides. There are various poses that one is required to do when practicing yoga. One of them is ardha matsyendrasana, or the half lord of the fishes pose.

All the poses of yoga are not just meant for working your body. They are required to be practiced with proper breathing and impact both your mental and physical health in a positive manner. There are various benefits of ardha matsyendrasana pose as well as other similar yoga poses. The pose has been a part of an ancient tradition of yogic exercises that facilitates better spine health and digestive system health.

If you are a beginner, do not think that yoga is all about stretching your body in impossible positions. In fact, yoga has never been a way to hurt your body by stretching it way beyond its normal range of motion. Rather, it is a means to view the extent to which your body can go and transform itself.

What Is Ardha Matsyendrasana Asana?

ardha matsyendrasana pose

Woman performing half spinal twist pose, Credit: Canva


It is a yogic asana that is named after one of the greatest yogis Matsyendranath. He was a renowned yoga guru that lived in the 9th century and developed the hatha yoga. Half spinal twist pose or the ardha matsyendrasana word is composed of several sanskrit words. Ardha means half, matsya means fish, and eendra means king. Asana, as you might already know, refers to pose or posture.

It is a spinal rotating pose and is one of the poses that is a part of a spine rotating session. It not only imparts a great spine health but also improves your flexibility. Apart from this, the movement that you do in this asana will tone your spinal nerves as well as ligaments. It, in turn, will promote your digestive health. After doing  ardha matsyendrasana several times without any problems, you can progress to a similar but advanced pose called the sukhasana. If you are  someone who is consistently suffering from lower back pain and joint pain then you should attempt doing  ardha matsyendrasana. In only a few days, you will start noticing a significant improvement in your spine health as well as posture.

What is the procedure of ardha Matsyendrasana?

ardha matsyendrasana steps

people performing half spinal twist pose, Credit: Canva


You need to be aware of the right way of doing half lord of the fish pose in order to get its benefits. For this it is essential that you follow all the ardha matsyendrasana steps . There are various steps for you to follow in this procedure for doing this pose correctly. Here is a list of all of them.

  1. Start by sitting in a dandasana pose. Dandasana is a state where you stretch your legs forward along with your buttocks resting on a pillar.

  2. Now put your hands on the floor, mat, or on the ground. They should be on either side of your buttocks. Always remember to keep your spine erect.

  3. Next, start bending your left leg. Bend it gently. Your left heel should come in contact with your right hip.

  4. After this, cross the right leg over the left one. Do it in a manner that your right leg ends right next to your left knee.

  5. After this, start bending the upper part of your chest to the right direction. While doing this, you should keep your left hand exactly parallel to the right leg.

  6. Now with your left hand touch the right toe.

  7. You should slowly inhale and exhale. This position should be held for around 30 seconds to upto a minute.

  8. Do not immediately end the pose. Instead, end it slowly. Now rest for some moments and then repeat the whole procedure on the other side of your body.

What are the benefits of ardha Matsyendrasana?

ardha matsyendrasana benefits

Flexible woman, Credit: Canva


There are a ton of benefits of doing the ardha matsyendrasana pose. It is remarkable to see how it can help you get rid of several aches and pains in your body. It is one of the most natural ways of replenishing your body without relying on expensive treatments and medications.

Some of the remarkable benefits of half lord of the fish pose are mentioned below

  1. As a chest opening pose, it fully opens the muscles of your chest and lungs. Therefore the chances of developing respiratory disorders decreases.

  2. Many people are found complaining of lower back pain and back problems. Half lord of the fish pose greatly benefits those who want to attain relief from back pain issues.

  3. By practicing ardha matsyendrasana pose regularly you can significantly enhance the flexibility of your spinal cord.

  4. The pose by massaging and stimulating the stomach region helps in boosting the functioning of your abdominal organs.

  5. People suffering from slip discs can also manage their condition effectively by practicing ardha matsyendrasana

  6. Environmental stress and anxiety are on the rise. Today, people need something to calm and soothe their senses and mind. This yogic pose can help to relieve all kinds of tension and stress.

  7. After waking up, people often experience stiffness in their lower body, particularly their hips. By practicing ardha matsyendrasana pose, they can attain flexibility and a greater range of motion than before while reducing the stiffness of their body.

  8. A well-functioning body is characterised by a good circulatory system. Half lord of the fishes asana helps to stimulate the circulation of oxygen as well as blood in your body. The detoxification of your body automatically becomes possible by practicing this pose regularly.

  9. Many people also suffer from urinary tract infections. For them too, ardha matsyendrasana pose is extremely useful. They can manage their condition quite well by doing it.

Who should not do ardha Matsyendrasana?

ardha precautions

Woman with spine injury, Credit: Canva


After reading about the benefits of the ardha matsyendrasana pose, it is hard to believe that there might be reasons that can prevent people from not doing it. But the following precautions, if not taken before attempting this pose can seriously make you prone to various complications.

  1. Half lord of the fishes pose should not be attempted by those who have a spine or back injury.

  2. If in the past, you have undergone brain, heart, or abdominal surgery, stay away from attempting this asana.

  3. People with hernia or peptic ulcers should not practice this pose.

  4. As it is a twisting pose, doing it during pregnancy and menstruation can give rise to certain problems.

  5. Those suffering from severe cases of slip disc should also not practice this pose. If they want to do they can do so under strict supervision.

Try doing the ardha matsyendrasana pose daily. You will soon notice an improved flexibility and a great digestive health.

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