Garland Pose
March 30, 2015
Half Moon Pose
March 30, 2015

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose

LEVEL

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Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Ardha Matsyendrasana
(ard-ha mats-yun-DRAS-unna)
ardha = half
matsya = fish
indra = king, lord

BENEFITS

  • 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

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Pregnancy
  • Sciatica
  • Slipped disc
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Hernia
  • Hyperthyroidism

HOW TO

  1. Begin sitting on your heels in Thunderbolt pose (Vajrasana).
  2. Shift your hips to the left so that you’re sitting on the floor to the left of your feet.
  3. Cross your right foot just outside of your left knee. Keep the foot flat on the floor.
  4. Bring your right hand to the floor a few inches behind you. Lightly push your hand into the ground to straighten your spine.
  5. Inhale and reach your left hand toward the sky.
  6. Exhale and bend your left arm, using your elbow like a lever against your right knee. Gaze over your right shoulder.
  7. 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

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • 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.

VARIATIONS

  • 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