Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist)
1) Sit with the legs stretched out in front of the body. Bend the right leg and place the right foot flat on the floor on the outside of the left knee.
2) The toes of the right foot should face forward. Bend the left leg and bring the foot around to the right buttock. The outside edge of the foot should be in contact with the floor.
3) Pass the left arm through the space between the chest and the right knee, and place it against the outside of the right leg.
4) Hold the right foot or ankle with the left hand, so that the right knee is close to the left armpit.Sit up as straight as possible.
5) Raise the right arm in front of the body and gaze at the fingertips.
6) Slowly twist to the right, simultaneously moving the arm, trunk and head.
7) Use the left arm as a lever against the right leg to twist the trunk as far as possible without using the back muscles.
8) Follow the tips of the fingers of the right hand with the gaze and look over the right shoulder.Do not strain the back.
9 ) Bend the right elbow and place the arm around the back of the waist. The back of the right hand should wrap around the left side of the waist.
10) Alternatively, it can be placed as high as possible between the shoulder blades with the fingers pointing up. This arm position enforces the straightness of the spine.
11) Reverse the movements to come out of the posture and repeat on the other side.
1)This asana simultaneously stretches the muscles on one side of the back and abdomen while contracting the muscles on the other side.
2) It tones the nerves of the spine, makes the back muscles supple, relieves lumbago and muscular spasms, and reduces the tendency of adjoining vertebrae to develop osteophytes.
3) When practised under supervision, it has proved beneficial for mild cases of slipped disc.
4) Ardha matsyendrasana massages the abdominal organs, alleviating digestive ailments.
5) It regulates the secretion of adrenaline and bile and is recommended in the yogic management of diabetes.
1) Women more than two or three months pregnant should avoid this practice.
2) People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia or hyperthyroidism should avoid this.
3) People with sciatica or slipped disc may benefit from this asana, but great care should be taken.