Asanas: Ardha Matsyendrasana

Half spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana) is one of the asanas of basic spinal twisting or rotation. So Danilo Hernández (Swami Digambarananda Saraswati) explains it in his accredited book Keys of Yoga. Theory and practice (The March Hare). Performs: Raúl Torres, Professor of the international school of Yoga. Photos: Thor Castro.


Spinal twist is a great posture that should never miss a session of asanas.


  1. Position of split: sit you in the soil with the trunk erect and the legs together and stretched.
  2. Bend your left leg and takes their heel under the right thigh, leaving it attached to the right buttock. Left thigh is left in the ground, and the knee across the abdomen.
  3. Then supports of the right foot on the floor, placing the outer face of the ankle in contact with the left knee. The foot points forward.
  4. Before continue, ten present that to perform correctly the torque spinal there is that starting from a position of maximum verticality of the column vertebral. To achieve this, grab with both hands right knee. Inspired, get strength with the armrests towards you, stretching the trunk upwards and pulling the chest, but without lifting the shoulders.
  5. It supports right-hand on the floor behind the buttocks, so you can leave this weight and keep you completely vertical.
  6. Now he moved all arm inquierdo above the knee right and placed along the outer face of the right leg. With the forearm get a bit of lever on the leg right, until get take the foot right or the ankle with her hand left. It can be that at the beginning it is not possible, then limit yourself to keep hugging the right thigh with the left forearm, placing the left hand near the right buttock.
  7. Finally, inspired by pulling you upwards and venting air, then rotates the trunk to the right as possible. Torsion goes from the lower vertebrae and develops progressively upward, culminating with the rotation of the cervical vertebrae to rotate the head.
  8. In the final position, the head is rotated to maximum clockwise, looking over his shoulder. Take your right hand behind your back, trying to touch the inside of the right thigh with her. If this position of the hand right causes instability or the loss of the verticality of the trunk, then will be best leave it supported in the soil, so that shore it posture.

Keep the position until you feel that have state a time sufficient. When you've completed the posture, undo it slowly, following the same steps but in reverse. Then repeat the whole procedure by turning to the left, with opposite legs. When finished, relax a few moments in the Sukhasana position, taking @ crossed legs, right back with hands on knees.

Technical details

  • In the final position the two shoulders are at the same height.
  • During the stay in Ardha Matsyendrasana back should be upright and relaxed.
  • Do not sit on the heel of the leg that is on the ground. The heel remains in light contact with the other leg buttock. You have to sit on both buttocks.
  • Knee high leg is almost under the armpit.
  • In the final position it breathes rhythm, slowly and deeply with the abdomen. It appreciated the pressure exercised by the abdomen over the thigh during inspiration. You can insert some thoracic breathing, especially in the moment to emphasize the position.
  • You do not force the position, but if the body is giving of himself, you can intensify the torque spinal stretching the spine upwards as inspired and then emphasizing the rotation of the entire trunk and head on exhalation.
  • To undo the position, first turn slowly the head, feeling the movement of the cervical vertebrae. Note that the tension is removed from top to bottom.

Main benefits

  • It relaxes the back muscles and ligaments of the spine.
  • It prevents welding of the fifth lumbar vertebrae with sacrum.
  • It tones the spinal nerves. Massage beneficently all abdominal organs by stimulating their performance.
  • Is useful in the treatment of the diabetes and the dyspepsia. Combat effectively the constipation.
  • It prevents and relieves lower back pain and back pain.


Not is recommended for the people that suffer from hernia, ulcer peptic or hernia discal.

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By • 13 mar, 2013 • section: Asanas, Practice