Side Plank Pose
March 28, 2015
Staff Pose
March 28, 2015

Sitting Half Spinal Twist

ARE-dah MOT-see-en-DRAHS-anna 

ardha = half

matsyendra = king of the fish

matsya = fish

indra= ruler


  • Strengthens and lengthens the spine
  • Cleanses internal organs
  • Activates digestive tract
  • Opens the chest and heart space


  • Spine, hip, or knee injury

How To

  1. Begin in Sukhasana (Easy Pose), or have your legs extended in front of you, and find a tall spine and minor core engagement
  2. For the first side, bend your left knee and rest your foot near the inside of your groin
  3. Bend your right leg and plant your right foot outside of your left thigh, perhaps moving it to rest closer to your left hip
  4. Point your right knee directly up to the ceiling
  5. Inhale to prepare, exhale to twist your upper body towards the right
  6. Wriggle your left upper arm or armpit to rest on the outside of your bent right knee
  7. Rest your right hand on your low back or find a bind, bringing your hands to interlace behind you or your left hand to grasp your right wrist
  8. Gaze directly in front of you
  9. Rest for a couple rounds of breath
  10. Inhale to begin to find your way out, release your bind
  11. Exhale, uncross your legs and extend them out long before repeating on the other side

Modify or Replace

  • Sit on a blanket to lift your hips and better lengthen your spine
  • Keep your bottom leg straight rather than bending it

Sequencing Tips



Teaching Cues

  • Allow your inhales to lift you higher, lengthening your spine, and your exhales to twist you deeper
  • Find the twist from just above your belly button
  • Draw your shoulders together behind you
  • Notice where your gaze lands and ensure that your neck feels safe resting in that direction
  • Avoid lifting your chin noticeably away from your chest


  • Sit on a blanket
  • Find a bind with your hands behind you and internal rotation of your shoulders
  • For the above variation, utilize a strap to shorten the distance between your hands

Watch Out For

  • Hips or glutes lifting
  • Shoulders slouching