Exercise-98: Ardha matsyendrasana (The half spinal twist pose)
- Sit with the legs straight in front of the body.
- Place the right foot flat on the floor outside the left knee.
- Bend the left leg to the right and place the left heel against the right hip.
- Place the left arm outside the right leg, and with the left hand hold the right foot or ankle.
- The right knee should be as near as possible to the left armpit.
- Turn the body to the right, placing the right arm behind the back.
- Twist the back and then the neck as far as possible without strain.
- Remain in the final pose for a short time and then slowly return to the starting position.
- Change the legs and repeat to the other side.
Simplified version for beginners-
- People with very stiff bodies who cannot do ardha matsyendrasana should place the leg that is folded under the hips straight in front of the body.
- The technique thereafter is the same as the basic form.
- As soon as the body becomes more supple they should discontinue this simple variation and attempt the full asana.
- Exhale while twisting the trunk.
- Breathe as deeply as possible without strain in the final pose.
- Inhale while returning to the starting position.
When the spinal muscles are sufficiently flexible, try to maintain the pose for at least a minute on each side of the body.
On the respiration in the final pose.
- Tones the spinal nerves, makes the back muscles supple and loosens the vertebrae.
- Massages the abdominal organs, thereby removing digestive ailments.
- Helps regulate the secretion of adrenaline from the adrenal glands.
- Activates the pancreas and is therefore useful in eliminating diabetes.
- Helps to relieve lumbago and muscular rheumatism.
- Tones the large number of nerves that arise in the region of the back.
- Influences a large proportion of the nerves connectingthe brain to the
- whole body, rendering the nervous system more efficient and healthy.
- Very useful for mild cases of slipped disc.
This important asana should be practiced at least once every day. It is a simplification of poorna matsyendrasana.