Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)
This asana is also known as the half Spinal Twist, and it can be performed as follows;
Sit in Dandasana or the staff pose. With your legs straight out in front of you and place a blanket beneath your buttocks supporting them.
- Bending your knees, put your feet on the floor, and then slide your left foot under your right leg to the outside of your right hip. Place the outside of the left leg on the floor. Step the right foot over the left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. The right knee must be pointing directly up at the ceiling.
- Breathe out or exhale twisting toward the inside of your right thigh. Press the right hand against the floor just behind your right buttock, and set your left upper arm on the outside of your right thigh near the knee. Pull the front of your torso and inner right thigh together.
- Place and pressing the inner right foot very actively into the floor, release the right groin, and lengthen front of the torso.
- Now leaning the upper torso back slightly, against the shoulder blades, continue to lengthen the tailbone into the floor.
- You can turn your head in one of two directions.
- Remain in this posture for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, then releasing out with a deep exhalation, return to the starting position, and repeat to the left for the same duration of time.
- As you go on to inhale lift your sternum pushing the fingers into the floor.
- Be sure that the twist is evenly distributed in the entire length of the spinal column.
The benefits of this asana are:
- Brings about the stimulation of the kidneys and liver.
- Stretches the shoulders, hips and neck.
- Energizes the spine.
- Stimulates the digestive system.
- Is of great therapeutic value in asthma and infertility.
- Provides relief in menstrual discomforts.
- Also provides relief in backache, fatigue, sciatica etc.
- Helps in increasing appetite.
- Helps in indigestion.
- Produces benefit to the adrenal glands, kidneys, liver and the spleen.
Precautionary measures for this asana are:
- Must be performed with extreme care in case of spinal injury.
- Also if individual is suffering from spinal stiffness this asana must be performed with care.
- If not possible to perform one can hold the knee for support purposes.