Yoga, these days, has been immensely popularised because of ardha matsyendrasana benefits. Ardha matsyendra is a pose in the yoga asanas. It is a Sanskrit word. It is one of the best poses that relieve us from stress and body aches and stimulates our brain to work well. It means the Lord of the fishes poses in half body posture.
What is Ardha matsyendrasana yoga? Ardha represents half, and Matsya means fish. Ardha Matsysendrasana is an ancient yoga practiced universally by people. Half spinal twist is one of the famous asanas in Hatha Yoga. Ardha matsyendrasana benefits cover the entire body system. The whole spinal twist position was one of the favorite meditation poses of sage Matsyendranath. So, Ardha Matsyendrasana is named after him. However, the complete asana was challenging to perform, so we prefer the half-fish pose, which is known as Ardha Matsyendrasana.
Ardha Matsyendrasana is performed before all asanas as it increases the body's flexibility. As we have performed that asana, practicing other asana or exercises becomes easier as the body becomes flexible. While performing this yoga, our body looks like a semi-fish. It is committed to increasing the body's flexibility as it is performed to improve the body structure and the digestive system. In this asana, the body is seated and twisted. The posture of this yoga stretches the spine. The muscles get released, and we get relief from back pain.
Additionally, it also maintains the flexibility of the spinal cord. People who have diabetes can also do this Ardha Matsyendrasana to control their sugar level. The seated position in the half-fish pose removes all the toxins from the body and aids in getting what our body needs, i.e., free from depression and proper blood circulation.
Care should be taken if suffering from a peptic ulcer or hernia. Peptic ulcers occur when there is damage to the digestive tract. A sore develops in the digestive tract, hence leading to ulcers. Since this disease needs medicine, we must not try to disturb the digestive track once again by performing this yoga as an asana.
Ardhamatsyendra Asana Steps
You can follow the below steps to perform the ardhamatsyendrasana.
- You should sit cross-legged on your mat.
- Place the right hand on the left knee while twisting your body.
- Twist from the base of the spine without lifting the body.
- While stretching your body, you must keep in mind that you don't hurt your lower back while lifting your lower back.
- Place your left hand on the mat just behind your hips.
- Now repeat the exercise by gradually untwisting your body on the other side.
While performing the Ardha Matsyendrasana, you must be very slow; it may hurt your lower back. This asana should be performed regularly and properly to improve results. While twisting the body, you must inhale and hold your breath; while untwisting, you must exhale.
When repeating the Ardha Matsyendrasana once again, you must again inhale while twisting, hold your breath when you are in the final posture of the asana, and again exhale while getting back into the normal posture. Now inhale slowly and deeply.
Yoga is performed with patience, and several reminders have to be kept in mind which are very much necessary:
- You must make sure that your back is straight while performing Ardha Matsyendrasana so that you can receive much of the Ardha Matsyendrasana benefits.
- You must make sure that you are listening to your body. You know very well what your body is trying to tell you. You must not force your body to work or twist.
- While performing the last stage of the asana, your shoulders should remain straight.
- Though Ardha Matsyendrasana benefits, you should stop performing this if you are experiencing any pain due to surgery or soreness.
- This asana is not advised for pregnant women also.
The asana positions
There is a strong twist on the spine, and the abdomen in this position as both are pressurized heavily. The right arm is pressed against the left knee, and the left arm is trapped behind the back, increasing the entire body's twist. The chest remains open, and the spine is erect. On one side, the abdomen is pressed, and on the other side, it is stretched. The right leg and eight knees remain on the floor, while the left knee should be close to the right armpit.
Releasing the asana position
Here is how you should release the asana position
- While inhaling and exhaling, turn the neck back to the front-facing position.
- Release the hands slowly and place them beside the body.
- Gradually relax. Straighten your legs one by one.
- Practice the same on the other side with the other leg and arm.
It mainly focuses on the spine, hips, chest, and arms. You should be aware of the pressure given on the twist of the abdomen and the spine. It would help if you also were mindful of breathing while exhaling, mainly focusing on chest breathing.
People with severe spine problems should avoid Ardha Matsyendrasana. The stretching and relaxing may weaken the nerve, thereby creating more problems in the spine.
- With the right hand, we should hold the left toe from the left of the left knee. If it is difficult to hold the toe in that manner, you may hold the left ankle or the ground while raising your heel, provided you are a beginner.
- Keep your spine straight. Do not bend it. Do not let it bend or fall on the shoulder. You can keep the hand on the ground if any support is needed to the shoulder.
- Cover your lower back with the left arm, and the palm faced outwards.
- Turn the spine leftwards. Turn your shoulders and head also leftwards.
- Keep both of your bums strictly stuck on the ground.
- As you know your own body, twist it as much as you can while keeping your neck and back straight. Please do not force it much; it may cause pain.
- Try to lift either of the bums off the ground or sit on your heels.
- Let the back or neck bend forward.
- Lift the left sole of the foot from the ground.
It should only be a few seconds when a person is just a beginner of Ardha Matsyendra. But gradually it should be increased. Once the person is comfortable with it, they can prolong it up to five minutes on each side.
Ardha Matsyendrasana Benefits
Improves the flexibility
Flexibility in body strengthening can also be done through exercise, but by performing Ardha Matsyendrasana, your body gets flexible. Yoga also aids in improving our digestive system. It also helps us in living a stress-free life.
2. Qualitative Sleep
Qualitative sleep from yoga is achieved by practicing this asana regularly. It works better while performed before bedtime. By completing this yoga, the body gets relaxed to have a proper sleep.
3. Helps in the agility of the spine
The spinal cord becomes flexible. We can move the spinal cord anyway, rotating our body.
4. Elongates the spine
If we practice this yoga several times regularly, it helps in the spine's elongation.
5. Alignment of the spine
While practicing Ardha Matsyendrasana, contraction and expansion of the muscles and spine occur. It leads to the proper natural alignment of the spine.
6. Pain relief
Ardha Matsyendrasana releases the lower back muscles, and now since the muscles are released, it provides relief from the lower back pain.
7. Easy rotation of the spinal cord
As we twist our bodies, there is a slow movement in the spinal cord. By practicing ardha matsyendrasana regularly, the spinal cord achieves flexibility, and we find that it can easily rotate.
8. Stress-free life
The Ardha Matsyendrasana position helps in calming the mind. As a result, we do not have any stress in our minds; we can work well and sleep well and can now lead a stress-free life.
9. Improves our digestive system
Ardha Matsyendrasana rejuvenates all the internal organs to work correctly. It provides the energy to function well. Likewise, ardha Matsyendrasana benefits the function of the liver also. It promotes the liver to increase bile secretion (digestive juice). As a result, it improves the digestive system.
10. Helps those suffering from Sciatica and slipped disc
The pain radiating along the sciatic nerve gets relieved from both the legs to the lower back by regularly practicing ardha matsyendrasana.
11. Helps us manage our inner thighs
Practicing ardha matsyendrasana benefits mobility to the body cells, and our inner thighs get rejuvenated and start working well.
12. Strengthens the bones and joints
The person who does the Ardhamatsyendrasana properly, the bones and joints of the neck, shoulder, and the hips get strengthened and start functioning well, thereby curing arthritis.
13. Maintains mental issues
As Ardha Matsyendrasana affects the brain, by doing it both regularly and well, this yoga also maintains mental issues. It makes our brain relaxed and works properly; hence we can easily focus on our work and solve any mental issues. We no longer live in depression and anxiety. We live a happy life.
14. Removes constipation
As discussed earlier, it maintains the digestive system, maintaining all the body systems, especially the digestive system. Ardha matsyendrasana benefits constipation and removes it. In this asana, the posture in which we sit also avoids constipation.
15. Ardha matsyendrasana benefits the reproductive system
It increases the blood circulation in the pelvic region and therefore provides fresh blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the urinary system.
16. Helps the menstrual cycle
Ardha matsyendrasana benefits the menstrual cycle by regulating it. Hence it improves disorders.
17. Helps keep diabetes in control
Ardha matsyendrasana benefits the pancreas to secrete the proper amount of insulin, which may regulate diabetes at a reasonable level. It may neither allow the sugar level to drop much nor increase more.
18. Ardha matsyendrasana benefits Cervical Spondylitis
This disease is the result of pain in the neck. It is most common among people whose work is almost related to their desks. We can surely cure this disease by performing this yoga asana regularly and appropriately for a week.
Ardha Matsyendrasana benefits as we perform it regularly and properly. It has very beneficial effects, especially on women. There are several easy ways by which it can be entirely done by not facing many problems. We should avoid doing it if we have had certain types of surgeries. Also read Ardha Matsyendrasana Yoga: Benefits | Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose