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Half Lord Of The Fish – Yoga Pose Of The Week

Half Lord Of The Fish Pose
Half Lord Of The Fish Pose, or Ardha Matsyendrasana is a twisting pose that helps the body wring out toxins.

Half Lord of the Fish pose is a twisting pose that energises the body, calms the mind and nervous system. It restores balance to the body, soul and spirit.

Twisting poses are a common addition to any yoga class because they provide benefits to our entire body. 

Half Lord of the Fish pose is otherwise known as Ardhamatsyaindraasana.

To break it down:

“Archer” — meaning “half”

“Matsya” — meaning “fish”

“Indra” — meaning “ruler”

“Asana” — meaning “pose”

Please always keep in mind that this is a deep twist, so always be mindful to see how your body responds. Take things gently and slowly – go at your own pace.

How to Enter Half Lord Of The Fish

  • Sit on your mat with your legs extended straight out in front, ankles and feet touching.
  • Core engaged and draw your belly button to spine.
  • Bend your right knee and cross it over the left thigh so your right heels at the outside of the left hip.
  • If comfortable, bend your left knee and bring the left heel to the right hip, resting the top of the foot on the ground. Or, just leave the left leg extended.
  • Reach your left arm in the air, then twisting at the lower belly, place the left elbow outside the right knee.
  • Place the right hand on the floor behind your bottom, as close to the body as possible, sitting as tall as you can.
  • If you feel up to it, bring both hands together in prayer/namaste hands.
  • Allow deep nostril breathing to aid you in this pose, counting to four with a deep breath in and counting to five with a deep breath out.
  • Hold this pose for up to one minute, or whatever feels ok for you on any given day.

To Exit The Pose

  • Core engaged – draw belly button to spine.
  • Exhale and unwind your torso.
  • Come back to the centre and extend both legs in front of you.  Remember to always sit tall.
  • Repeat the twist for the same length of time on the opposite side.
  • You may wish to rest in savasana following this pose

Modifications & Variations –

  • If you need some height, pop a folded blanket under your bottom to sit taller and make the pose easier. Keep your back and/or shoulders curling forward.
  • If you have tight hips only bend one knee when twisting, keep the other leg extended.
  • Instead of bringing your elbow to knee, try to wrap your entire arm around your thigh.

Never rush or force the pose. Move with your breath. Inhale to lengthen your spine, and exhale to gently rotate deeper.

Happy twisting!

Benefits

  • Performing twists literally wrings out the digestive organs, gives our bodies a chance to clear out tension and realign the spine.
  • Stretches out shoulders, hips, neck, and spine
  • Lengthens and energises spine
  • Massages and tones abdominals
  • Relieves digestive problems
  • Helps with metabolism
  • Aids function of liver, kidney and adrenal glands

Cautions and Contraindications

  • Recent or chronic injury to your knees, hips, or spine. Please have a look at modifications and always listen to your body, never twist past what your body says is ok.  
  • Pregnancy 
  • Ulcer, hernia, hyperthyroidism
  • Slipped disc

Written by Trudy Vains

Trudy Vains is an Author, Yoga Teacher, Reiki Master and Spine Fusion Warrior.

Trudy’s book “Fused” provides inspiration and reassurance to those facing spine surgery, as well as many examples of the importance of a positive mindset in overcoming challenges.

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