Ardha Matsyendrasana – Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
(ARD-ha MOTS-yen-DRAHS -uh-nuh)
Ardha = half
Matsyendra = king of the fish (matsya = fish indra = ruler), a legendary teacher of yoga
Asana = comfortable seat
Dedicated to Matsyendra, teacher of Yoga and Lord of the Fishes, Ardha Matsyendrasana, is a seated twist which is acclaimed with significant mind body benefits. As a physical expression, it encourages more mobility in the mid and upper back, energizes the spine and stimulates the digestive fire. Importantly, as an emotional and spiritual expression, it is said that practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana we can attune into the subtle pulsations within our bodies and draw us closer to who we are, not just as physical beings but as beings of a spiritual nature.
Come into Ardha Matsyendrasana from Dandasana (seated in staff pose):
1. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the ground outside of your left thigh. You can keep your left leg long or bend it and place your left heel under your right glute.
2. Turn your torso to the right and take your right hand to the ground behind your sacrum. Wrap your left arm around your right leg and place your right hand on the ground behind your sacrum.
3. Inhale deeply to lengthen your spine, then take your left arm outside of your right thigh. Use your arm pressing into your thigh and your thigh pressing into your arm to twist on your exhale. Keep this breathing pattern for at least three deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
As you uncoil from this deep twist, feel your mind unwind and attune to the energy within so you may become more aware of your place within the universe and awaken knowledge of the self.