Pose TypeHip Opener, Seated, Twist
Ardha Matsyendrasana (ard-ha mats-yun-DRAS-unna) ardha = half matsya = fish indra = king, lord
- Tones the spinal nerves
- Stretches the back muscles
- Massages the abdominal organs and improves digestion
- Improves kidney function
- Regulates secretions of the pancreas, adrenal glands, and liver
- Slipped disc
- Peptic ulcer
- Begin sitting on your heels in Thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana).
- Shift your hips to the left so that you’re sitting on the floor to the left of your feet.
- Cross your right foot just outside of your left knee. Keep the foot flat on the floor.
- Bring your right hand to the floor a few inches behind you. Lightly push your hand into the ground to straighten your spine.
- Inhale and reach your left hand toward the sky.
- Exhale and bend your left arm, using your elbow like a lever against your right knee. Gaze over your right shoulder.
- Stay in the pose for several breaths. Inhale and untwist, then change sides.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Keep the bottom leg straight.
- Hug the knee into the chest rather than using the arm as a lever against the leg.
- Alternatives: Spinal Twist, Supine Spinal Twist
- Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
- Locust pose (Salabasana)
- Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
- Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
- Begin with a vertical spine and then twist.
- Twist from the core, not the upper body.
- Grow taller with each inhale. Twist deeper from the core with each exhale.
- Hold onto the ankle rather than using the arm as a lever against the leg. Bend the supporting arm and bring the back of the hand in between the shoulder blades, fingers pointing up.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Shoulders hunching
- Incorrect foot placement
- Either buttock lifting off the ground
- Forcing the twist from the upper torso