Matsyendra is a legendary teacher of yoga and considered to be the founder of Hatha Yoga. Ardha Matsyendrasana is a twisting position which symbolises “leading one from darkness to light”; revolving the front body, i.e. what is conscious, to the back body, i.e. the subconscious.
How to get into the position
Sitting on the floor firmly with both sitting bones and with your legs stretched out in front of you i.e. in Dandanasa (a.k.a. ‘Staff Pose’), take your right leg under your left leg, that is step your right foot over your left leg and stand it on the floor outside your left hip. Your right knee will point directly up at the sky.
Inhale and reach both of your arms out in front of you. Then exhale and take your right hand to your left foot and, at the same time, reach around your back so as to take your left hand to your right thigh.
The intention behind this yoga position is to twist from your hip to shoulder to work the outside line of your thigh and lower torso.
Hold the position for five full breaths. On each inhalation, extend your spine. On each exhalation try to tur further back.
Repeat the position on the left-hand side for five full breaths.
Helps to open your neck, shoulders and hips
Helps to increase flexibility in your spine
Massages your internal organs
Tones your obliques and abs.
Contraindications and Cautions
Avoid this position if you have any serious spine injury or if you have a hernia.
Damian Cadman-Jones is an authorised teacher of Prana Vashya Yoga™