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.


Spinal Twist Asanas

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