Ardha Matsyendrasana (half spinal twist)


  • Sit with the legs stretched out in front of the body.
  • Bend the right leg and place the right foot flat on the floor on the outside of the left knee.
  • Bend the left leg and bring the foot around to the right buttock.
  • Pass the left arm through the space between the chest and the right knee, and place it against the outside of the right leg-
  • Hold the right foot or ankle with the left hand, so that the right knee is close to the left armpit.
  • Sit up as straight as possible.
  • Raise the right arm in front of the body and gaze at the fingertips.
  • Slowly twist to the right, simultaneously moving the arm, trunk, and head.
  • Look over the right shoulder.
  • Do not strain the back.

Breathing:

  • Inhale in the forward position.
  • Exhale while twisting the trunk.
  • Breathe deeply and slowly without strain in the final position.
  • Inhale while returning to the starting position.

Duration:

Practise once on each side, gradually increasing the holding time to 1 or 2 minutes on each side of the body or up to 30 breaths.

Contra-indications:

  • Women more than two or three months pregnant should avoid this practice.
  • People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia or hyperthyroidism should only practice.
  • this pose under expert guidance.
  • People with sciatica or slipped disc may benefit from this asana, but great care should be taken.