Ardha Matsyendrasana can be quickly understood by realizing that “ardha” means half, “matsyendra” means king of the fish in the Sanskrit language.
Begin by stretching your legs out in front of you and with your pelvis resting on the floor. Now twist your knees so that your feet are on the ground. Insert your left foot beneath the right hip. Now move your right foot over the left one so that it stands on the floor, pressing the inner arch and sole of the foot into the floor for the duration of each side of the pose. The right knee should now be pointing directly upwards at the ceiling.
Twist yourself inwards to the right thigh while exhaling. Place your right hand on the ground behind the right hip and place your left upper arm over your right thigh.
Push the right foot, which is placed inside, strongly in the ground as you release your groin. You may lean the upper torso slightly as you firm your grip into the floor with the help of your tailbone.
Now turn your head in either direction. You may go with the twist or can counter the twist with your head by looking over your shoulders.
Every time you inhale, try to push yourself up a bit with the help of your fingers. Every time you exhale, twist your body a little further. This twist should be well distributed along your body, including the side body, and not just your lower back. Remain in this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and end it by returning to the natural pose with exhalation.
This is an advanced pose for effectively providing these benefits:
For newcomers to yoga, Half-Fish Pose is an effective way to remove any kind of back pain. If you are new and finding this pose difficult, you can simply wrap your arm on the raised leg and embrace the thigh with your torso.
Advanced users may find this yoga pose beneficial when they need to increase the strength and energy of their back, spine and shoulders. You can deepen this pose by taking help from a partner who can help you achieve the required pose and stretch.
The Half-Fish Pose is not recommended for people suffering from the following problems:
Consult a qualified yoga teacher if you have concerns about whether or not this is a a safe or appropriate pose for you.
Reap the benefits of this pose as you try to twist more and more every successive day.