Sitting Half Spinal Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Ardha Matsyendrasana

Ardha = half; Matsyendra = king of the fish matsya = fish; indra = ruler.

Pronounced: ARE-dah MAT-see-en-DRAHS-anna

How to do Sitting half spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)


  • Sit up with the legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping the feet together and the spine erect.
  • Bend the left leg and place the heal of the left foot beside the right hip (optionally, you can keep the left leg straight).
  • Take the right leg over the left knee.
  • Place the left hand on the right knee and the right hand behind you.
  • Twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over the right shoulder.
  • Keep the spine erect.
  • Hold and continue with gentle long breaths in and out.
  • Breathing out, release the right hand first (the hand behind you), release the waist, then chest,lastly the neck and sit up relaxed yet straight.
  • Repeat to the other side.
  • Breathing out, come back to the front and relax.

Benefits of Sitting half spinal twist (Ardha matsyendrasana)

  • Makes spine supple
  • Increases the elasticity of the spine
  • Opens the chest and increases the oxygen supply to the lungs


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