Ardha Matsyendrasana

  • (ARD-hah MOTS-yen DRAHS-anna)
  • Ardha= half, Matsya= fish, indra= ruler/lord
  • Type of pose: sitting
  • Classification: asymmetrical seated twisted pose
  • Varitation: A/B/C
  • Benefits:

-tones and strengthens abs and obliques
-stretches and energizes the spine
-opens shoulder, hips and spine
-cleanses internal organs and improves digestions
-relives symptoms of backache
-menstrual discomfort and sciatica
-stimulates the liver, heart, lungs, kidneys and spleen
-releases excess heat and toxin from organs and tissue

  • Difficulty level: beginner till advanced
  • Sage Matsyenda  a renowned teacher of yoga, developed the pose
  • Drishti: Parshva
  • Caution:

-back or spine injury
-heart problems and abdominal surgery

  • Beginner tip:

-sit up well on a blanket support
-wrap arm around the raised leg and hug the thigh the torso

  • Follow up poses: Paschimottanasana, Janu Sirsasana


  1. Start in Dandasana (Staff Pose)

2. Left leg over the right, so that the foot is on the right side of the right leg with the foot as close into the body. Both sit bones are on the matt.

  1. Step the right foot across the left bent knee so that the foot stands outside of the tight.

4.Lean back with your right hand and inhale and lift your left arm straight up over your hand, stretching the spine upwards.
5.Exhale and turn to the right bringing your left elbow to outside of your right thigh, keeping your hand in a stop sign position. (variation twist)
6.Gaze over you right shoulder, but don’t over turn your neck. Try to draw your spine longer and longer with each inhale and deepen the twist with each exhale. Shoulders are parallel to the floor.

  1. Hold for 30 seconds or 1 minute keep your right foot flat on the floor. Keep your spine straight, relax into the posture
  2. End on exhalation, return to starting position and repeat to the left.


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