Bend left leg and place left foot on the ground over the right knee. Bend right leg and fold it with the right heel near the left buttock. Bring the right hand over left leg and grab left foot's big toe. While exhaling twist the trunk of the body as much as possible, turning neck to left shoulder and encircle the waist with the left hand with the palm facing outwards.
Steps To Perform Ardh Matsyendrasana (Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose)
- Bend the left leg and place the left foot on the ground over the right knee.
- Bend the right leg and fold it so that it is resting on the ground with the right heel near the left buttock.
- Bring the right hand over the left leg and grab the big toe of the left foot.
- Inhale slowly and while exhaling twist the trunk of the body as much as possible, turning the neck so the gaze is over the left shoulder and encircle the waist with the left hand with the palm facing outwards.
- Continue to maintain the pose while breathing normally.
- Stay as long as comfortable, starting with a few seconds and going up to holding the pose for 1 minute.
Releasing The Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose
- Inhale slowly and while exhaling turn the neck back to face the front.
- Release the hands and place them beside the body.
- Straighten the right leg.
- Straighten the left leg and return to sitting position.
- Practice the same on the opposite side.
Tips to Remember
- Don’t bend the back or neck forward.
- Lift the sole of the foot from the floor.
- Try and keep buttocks firmly rested on the ground.
- Twist only as far as comfortable, keeping the neck straight.
- If holding the toe is difficult, hold the ankle/raise the toes, but ensure that the heel is resting on the ground.
- If sitting directly on the floor is difficult, sit on a thick blanket.
- Initially perform under guidance of a qualified yoga teacher only.
Benefits of Half Lord Of The Fishes Pose
- Relieves stiffness of the back.
- Increases spinal elasticity and improves functioning of the spinal cord.
- Stretches the shoulders, hips and neck.
- Increases oxygen supply to the lungs by opening up the chest.
- Improves health of reproductive organs in women, by increasing the blood circulation to the pelvic region.
Avoid Ardh Matsyendrasana if you have the following symptoms:
- Back or spine injuries
- Heart, Abdominal or Brain surgeries
- Pregnancy and Menstruation
- Hernia / Peptic Ulcers