Sitting Half Spinal Twist
(Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Posted: January 24, 2018

Sitting Half Spinal TwistArdha Matsyendrasana (Are-dah-MOTS-yen-drAA-SUN-aa) — also known as Half Lord of the Fishes Pose, is a seated spinal twist, that lengthens and strengthens the spine and stimulates the digestive system. The pose gets its name from the Sanskrit words, Ardha, meaning half, Matsya, meaning fish, indra, meaning ruler, and asana, meaning pose.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Sit with your legs stretched out straight in front of you, keeping your feet together and spine erect.
  2. Bend your left leg and place the heel of your left foot beside the right hip.
  3. Place your right leg over your left knee.
  4. Place your left hand on your right knee your right hand behind your lower back.
  5. Twist the waist, shoulders and neck in this sequence to the right and look over your right shoulder.
  6. Keep your spine erect.
  7. Hold the pose and continue to breathe with long, deep breaths.
  8. Breathing out, release your right hand first, followed by your waist, then chest, and lastly your neck.
  9. Repeat on the other side



  • Lengthens, strengthens, and realigns the spine
  • Encourages fresh blood flow to the internal organs
  • Improves digestion
  • Opens the chest and increases oxygen supply to the lungs


  • Spinal, knee or hip injury

Modifications and Variations

  • To Modify: If bending your bottom leg is not accessible to you, keep your bottom leg straight and continue with rest of the posture.

Preparatory and Follow-up Poses

Browse our entire yoga poses library and learn more about each yoga pose in detail.

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at to find a a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

Are you interested to become a 200 H certified yoga teacher?

Sri Sri School of Yoga offers the most traditional (scripture-based), classical and authentic teacher training programs globally. Its certification is Yoga Alliance compliant. 

To find out more about teacher training offered in North America, talk to a Yoga Teacher Training Advisor. Click here to schedule your appointment!

Art of Living Part 1 course: Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being.

Subscribe to Art of Living Blog Digest