Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of Fishes Pose): Meaning, Steps, Benefits

Image supply: Canva

A Hindu legendary sage Matsyendranath, one of many founders of Hath Yoga, meditated in a novel pose. This pose was later popularized as one among 15 poses in Hatha Yoga and is called the Matsyendrasana or Lord of the Fishes Pose.

Ardha Matsyendrasana is a light twisting pose that swirls the backbone. However, the advantages should not restricted to the pliability of the backbone, but in addition to a rise in bodily, psychological and emotional well-being.

To go from Dandasana to Ardha Matsyendrasana, the precise knee is bent to wrap the foot across the left hip. The left knee is raised and the left foot is positioned subsequent to the outer proper knee. The neck is then rotated to the left. The proper arm is prolonged exterior of the left knee to seize the left foot. The rotation is enhanced by wrapping the left arm across the again to position the hand on the precise thigh.

No matter how difficult it might appear to you, there are a number of variations that you may attempt relying in your potential.


Ardha Matsyendrasana is a spinoff of the fuller pose Matsyendrasana (Purna matsyendrasana), named after the yoga resuscitation artist Yogi Matsyendranath. Because of its difficult nature, Ardha matsyendrasana has been advised.

In Sanskrit "Ardha" means "half", "Matsyendra" is "King of the fish" and "Asana" refers to "pose". Since it’s a easier variant or half as onerous as Matsyendrasana, therefore the identify.

People additionally discuss with it by its English identify, Half Lord of Fishes Pose. Sometimes it’s also referred to as the Half Spinal Twist pose as a result of it twists half of the backbone and does the pose on one facet at a time.

In some texts it’s discovered below the identify Vakrasana. In Sanskrit, "vakra" means "twisted" and "asana" refers to "pose". Since it twists the physique because it performs the pose, it’s also referred to as that.

Mythology behind the pose

Sage Matsyendra storyWise Matsyendra story. Image supply: jivamuktiyoga

The mythological story related to Ardha matsyendrasana is about Lord Shiva describing the secrets and techniques of yoga to Parvati (his spouse). He took Parvati to a distant island to explain yoga. A fish on the financial institution heard the dialog with focus and remained silent the entire time.

As quickly as Shiva seen that the fish had discovered yoga, he sprinkled some water on it. It enlightened the fish and took its divine type from Matsyendra (King of Pisces). Matsyendra later returned to earth to unfold yoga and information others on their religious paths.

Some practitioners additionally imagine that when holding the pose, the decrease half of the physique seems to be like a fish and the opposite half seems to be like a human. This exhibits the divine hybrid type of Yogi Matsyendranath.

Ardha Matsyendrasana apply handbook

Ardha Matsyendrasana exercise instructionImage supply: Canva


  • Avoid this pose throughout being pregnant and menstruation.
  • Do not attempt Ardha Matsyendrasana for extreme again ache.
  • Avoid it if there’s a spinal downside or a herniated disc.
  • Refrain from the apply of coronary heart, belly or mind surgical procedure.
  • People with abdomen ulcers mustn’t do that asana.
  • Any damage to the knee, hip, shoulder, neck, or again could make this pose worse.

Preparatory poses

How To Do Ardha Matsyendrasana (Steps)

ardha matsyendrasana how to do it and kick cuesImage supply: Canva

  1. Start by sitting in Dandasana.
  2. Bend your proper knee to position your proper foot exterior of your left knee.
  3. When you bend your left knee, place your left foot round your proper hip.
  4. Inhale by lifting your left arm and respiration your higher physique across the exterior fringe of your proper knee with an exhale.
  5. Hold your proper foot along with your left hand in order that your proper knee is nearer to your left armpit.
  6. Inhale, sustaining the integrity of the again, increase your proper arm ahead and take a look at his fingertips. Exhale to proceed the precise flip and look over your proper shoulder.
  7. Inhale, sit up and exhale, bend your proper elbow to succeed in the left facet of your waist and wrap your proper arm round your again.
  8. Release the pose in reverse order and repeat the steps on the left.


  • Keep your shoulders straight and your backbone upright as you maintain the pose.
  • Make positive the buttocks and foot that correspond to the raised knee are firmly on the ground.
  • Avoid mendacity in your again or straining the neck that holds the posture.

Follow up poses

Props and modifications

The following props may also help you deepen the Ardha Matsyendrasana rotation. It additionally prevents muscle pressure that may happen within the pose.

  1. Use yoga strap – Tie a yoga strap round your decrease leg or shin. Take the strap off your alternate hand whereas turning. It extends your hand behind your again. It makes it simpler for the pose to succeed in the decrease foot to carry out the twist.
  2. Blocks – Place a yoga block below your hips, then apply the asana. Place one other block behind you. If it’s troublesome to tug your arm again and wrap your self round your waist, place your again hand on the block.


Choose from the next variations to simplify or advance your Ardha Matsyendrasana apply.

1. Ardha Matsyendrasana 1

ardha matsyendrasana 1Image supply: Canva

This variant is appropriate for freshmen who’ve knee issues or who can not sit in Vajrasana at the start of the pose. In this case, in Dandasana one can merely maintain one leg straight and do Ardha Matsyendrasana 1.

Sit up and stretch your legs proper in entrance of you in Dandasana. From Dandasana, bend yours proper knee to position your proper foot subsequent to that left knee. Let your proper hand fall behind you. Inhale, stretch your left hand up, squeeze your proper knee, maintain your proper ankle, and look again.

2. Ardha matsyendrasana Hands Up Variation

It is a less complicated variation of Ardha matsyendrasana for many who don’t wish to twist the backbone deeply on this posture.

Sit in Vajrasana and let your buttocks fall proper on the ground. Use your arms to tug your left foot towards the skin of your proper knee. Take your left hand behind you and lift your proper arm. Drop it from the skin of your left knee and maintain your left ankle along with your proper hand. Turn round and look over your left shoulder.

2. Ardha Matsyendrasana 2

ardha matsyendrasana 2Image supply: Canva

Ardha Matsyendrasana 2 differs from Ardha Matsyendrasana 1 by way of the position of the foot. Here the bent leg takes over the alternative leg and the foot is positioned exterior the alternative knee. It provides different advantages to the primary variation on this pose.

From Dandasana, bend your proper knee to position your proper foot over the foundation of your left thigh. Then pull your left arm again once more and wrap it round your waist to seize your proper ankle or proper shin. Hold your left large toe or left sole from the skin along with your proper arm.

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana 3

ardha matsyendrasana 3Image supply: Canva

Deepen the pose additional. In Ardha Matsyendrasana 3, the leg that we held straight in earlier variations is bent to deliver it below the alternative hip. This corresponds to the principle pose described above within the article.

From Dandasana, bend your left knee to position your left foot on the root of your proper thigh. Bend your proper knee and convey your proper foot to the ground subsequent to your outer left knee. Rotate your torso to the precise and press your outer proper knee in opposition to your left arm. Hold your proper ankle along with your left hand. Put your proper arm round your again and place your hand in your waist.

4. Full Matsyendrasana

Also referred to as Purna Matsyendrasana. In this place, in distinction to different Ardha Matsyendrasana variations, the foot is just not positioned below the buttocks, however reasonably the bent heel of the foot is pressed in opposition to the navel.

Sit with a leg place just like Ardha Matsyendrasana III. Swing your proper arm round your again to carry your left ankle along with your proper hand. Keep twisting to the precise to deliver your left shoulder over the skin proper knee. Hold your proper foot along with your left hand and twist your neck to look to the precise.

Therapeutic advantages

  1. Ardha matsyendrasana is an intense stretch that’s useful for eradicating any stiffness between the vertebrae. It strengthens the backbone and thus improves posture.
  2. It additionally relieves again ache and is efficient in curing sciatica.
  3. People that suffer from a small intervertebral disc may be relieved of this spinal torsion.
  4. It can be utilized as a treatment to deal with constipation.
  5. Practice this pose to enhance your posture as a lot as potential Correct the rounded shoulders.
  6. The pancreas is compressed when the torso is rotated. It focuses on the pancreas and stimulates its effectivity, which makes it useful in curing diabetes.
  7. This pose stimulates the kidney and liver. Hence, it’s useful in curing urinary tract infections (UTI) and different nephrotic ailments.

Ardha Matsyendrasana advantages

1. Stretches arms, shoulders and backbone

Ardha Matsyendrasana is not only a backbone rotation, it additionally stretches the arms, shoulders and chest muscle mass. This improves the pliability of the higher physique. It additionally strengthens these muscle mass and makes the backbone supple.

2. Strengthens the leg muscle mass

The leg muscle mass are additionally stored stretched and twisted whereas holding the pose. It strengthens the hamstrings, calves, ankles, and knee muscle mass by bettering blood circulation.

3. Stimulates the belly muscle mass

The torso is twisted, which causes the belly muscle mass to stretch and stretch. It additionally has a massaging impact on inner organs such because the kidney, liver, abdomen and spleen. This advantages all muscle mass and anatomical organs concerned. Hence, tightening the stomach is a giant stretch.

4. Improves digestion

Ardha matsyendrasana includes twisting the torso. It leaves a massaging impact on the inner organs and promotes blood circulation. It in the end helps with higher digestion.

5. Improves respiration capability

This pose is a chest opener. It expands the chest muscle mass together with the lungs. This helps with elevated oxygen uptake and improves airway perform.

A 2006 examine discovered that Ardha Matsyendrasana improves lung quantity and respiration.

6. Stimulates the circulatory system

While the chest muscle mass are stretched, the center is gently massaged and effectivity elevated. This improves the blood movement to the physique. It additionally stimulates the spleen throughout train, which improves the blood purification and cleansing course of.

7. Improves reproductive well being

This asana includes stretching the pelvic areas. It secretes the stress hormone and will increase the provision of the reproductive organs with blood, vitamins and oxygen. Hence, working towards this pose improves reproductive well being.


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